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Erdogan returns to Turkey after securing thaw with Israel on US trip

Erdogan met with Netanyahu for the first time in New York, and is readying to visit Jerusalem as soon as next month.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday returned to Turkey from his four-day New York visit after cementing Turkey’s regional fence-mending with Greece and Israel. 

Erdogan’s one-on-one schedule on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly largely focused on regional diplomacy, including meetings with Israeli, Greek, Iraqi and Algerian leaders. Erdogan also met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday. 

Erdogan’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday marked the first-ever official face-to-face meeting, as relations between the two were highly strained during Netanyahu's previous terms in office (2009-2021). The two countries restored their diplomatic ties last July as part of Ankara’s regional fence-mending push, which aimed to overcome Turkey’s regional isolation and economic hardships by restoring its ties with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In the statement after the meeting, "The two leaders mutually invited each other for visits to Israel and Turkey and it was agreed that these visits would be coordinated and take place soon,” the Israeli side said.

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