Israel's Lapid Gets First Phone Call in Years From Turkish Foreign Minister

Call comes days after Turkish president revealed potential visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog was being discussed

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gives a press conference in Ankara, last month.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gives a press conference in Ankara, last month.Credit: Adem ALTAN / AFP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Turkey's top diplomat and Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on the phone on Thursday, in another sign of warming ties between the two countries.

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Lapid's office said his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, called him to ask how he was doing after having contracted for the coronavirus. Lapid tested positive more than 10 days ago, and ended his isolation earlier this week.

Neither side provided any further details about the content of the conversation, the first between Turkish and Israeli foreign ministers since 2008.

Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that a potential visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzo to Turkey was being discussed. Since entering his position, Herzog has had three phone conversations with Erdogan.

On Tuesday, after the U.S. decided to rescind its support for the Israeli-Greek EastMed pipeline for economic and environmental reasons, Erdogan also called for Israeli-Turkish coordination on a gas pipeline to Europe.

The Turkish president said last month that Turkey’s relationship with Israel is “vital for the stability of our region” during a meeting with Jewish leaders from Turkey and other countries in the Middle East.

“Despite our differences of opinion on Palestine, our relations with Israel in the fields of economy, trade and tourism are progressing. Israel's constructive and sincere attitude in the context of peace efforts will contribute to the normalization process,” he said, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

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