Lapid to Visit Turkey Amid Threats of Iranian Attacks on Israelis

In a phone call, Israel's President Isaac Herzog thanks Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts to thwart such attacks – adding that the threat has 'not yet passed'

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
An open market in Istanbul, Turkey, 2017.
An open market in Istanbul, Turkey, 2017.Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis / AP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is expected to leave on Thursday to visit Turkey amid threats that Iranian terror cells are targeting Israelis in Turkey, his office announced on Sunday.

Lapid is also expected to meet with his Turkish counterpart Melvut Cavusoglu on his snap visit, the announcement said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid attends a cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem last month.Credit: Abir Sultan /AP

Earlier on Sunday, Israel's President Isaac Herzog spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call and thanked him for his "efforts to thwart terrorist activities on Turkish soil."

The two leaders emphasized that this cooperation builds trust between the two nations, a statement by Herzog's office said. Herzog highlighted that the threat posed to Israelis in Istanbul has not yet passed, and that "counterterror efforts must continue."

In a tweet, Erdogan said the phone call with Herzog addressed relations between the two nations and that both leaders agreed on working towards peace and stability moving forward, including security and "the fight against terror."

Turkish media outlets exposed last week an Iranian ring that planned to carry out attacks against Israelis in the country. Israel followed by issuing the highest level travel warning for Istanbul and calling on Israelis to avoid all travel to the country.

While it was reported on Thursday that members of the Iranian cell had been arrested, sources said other cells remained active. On Friday, Israel warned that an attack was underway – fearing that the terror cells may go to great lengths to hurt Israelis despite cooperation between Turkey and Israel.

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