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Two Turkish officials in Jerusalem in preparation for the visit of the President of Israel to Ankara

A joint statement issued by Herzog’s office and the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the two sides “discussed preparations for Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Turkey, bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as various regional issues.”

Herzog received Ibrahim Kalin, Senior Adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Sedat Unal, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey.

The statement added that “Turkey and Israel have a wide influence in the region, and have agreed that the rehabilitation of relations between them can contribute to the consolidation of regional stability.”

Last month, Erdogan announced an upcoming visit to his Israeli counterpart in early February, describing this visit as an opportunity to “open a new chapter in relations between Turkey and Israel.”

The Turkish “TRT” station reported that the visit is expected to take place on the ninth of March and will last for two days, but Israel has not confirmed this date.

Erdogan also expressed his willingness to cooperate with Israel on a gas pipeline project in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish-Israeli relations were strained after 10 civilians were killed during a raid on a Turkish naval convoy heading to the Gaza Strip in 2010.

But the rapprochement between the two countries began weeks ago through phone contacts, especially between Erdogan and Israeli officials.

In November, Erdogan spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the first such call between an Israeli prime minister and Erdogan since 2013.

The call came a few hours after the release of an Israeli couple held in Turkey for a week on suspicion of espionage.

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