Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Turkey on July 28, 2023, to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both leaders’ offices said late Thursday.
According to the Turkish presidency, Netanyahu will arrive a few days after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to arrive on July 25, 2023.
In a statement, the Turkish presidency stated, “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will welcome the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Turkey in the course of the same week”.
“The leaders will talk about Turkey-Palestine relations and the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as other current international issues”, the statement reads.
The visit was verified by Netanyahu’s office as the first by an Israeli prime minister since Ehud Olmert in 2008.
Turkey’s diplomatic push comes at a time when the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is paralyzed, with the occupied West Bank experiencing the worst bloodshed in years.
Clashes erupted within Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque in April, where Israeli police clashed with Palestinians.
Erdogan claimed that Israel had exceeded a red line.
However, after several years of hostility, relations between Turkey and Israel have improved in the last year, with several high-level visits, including that of Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Relations soured in 2010 after Israeli forces launched a lethal attack on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which was seeking to carry supplies to Gaza, a Palestinian territory under Israeli blockade and controlled by the Islamist party Hamas.
Following the deaths of around 50 Palestinians by the Israeli army in Gaza in May 2018, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv and expelled Israel’s envoy to Ankara.
In retaliation, Israel fired the Turkish consul general in Jerusalem.