Turkey's foreign minister to visit Israel in effort to mend ties

The two countries expelled each other's ambassadors in 2018

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on April 6. EPA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would visit Israel on May 24 amid increasing efforts between the regional rivals to rebuild relations, four years after they expelled each other's ambassadors.

Turkey and Israel have in recent weeks been working to mend their long-strained ties, and energy has emerged as a possible area of co-operation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month he was "very, very hopeful" for energy co-operation with Israel, and he hoped to discuss the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

On Tuesday, Mr Erdogan said he told Israeli President Isaac Herzog that he was "very upset" by Palestinians injured or killed in the West Bank and Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

The two countries have often traded barbs over the Palestinian conflict, Turkish support of the Hamas militant group, which runs Gaza, and other issues.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on April 19. AFP

Mr Cavusoglu told CNN Turk that he would travel to Israel and Palestine with Energy Minister Fatih Donmez on May 24.

He said he would discuss the appointment of ambassadors with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during the visit.

Updated: April 20, 2022, 10:13 PM