Erdoğan lauds possible energy cooperation, condemns recent terror attacks in Herzog call

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan told his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog that synergy in the field of energy was mutually beneficial for their countries and that he hoped the momentum built in recent talks would continue, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday, citing the Turkish presidential office.

Top government officials from Turkey and Israel have expressed willingness to cooperate on natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean amid ongoing rapprochement efforts between the countries following a decade of tensions.

 Herzog last month visited Turkey, in a visit Erdoğan said marked a turning point in long strained relations between the countries. Prior to the visit, the Turkish leader voiced his country’s readiness to cooperate with Israel in the energy sector.

Erdoğan during the call also "strongly condemned" the latest terror attacks on Israeli civilians, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The Turkish leader sent his condolences to the grieving Israeli families, the newspaper said.

Israel has been hit with a wave of what it has called terror attacks in the last week, in which  11 people were killed in three separate incidents.

Anadolu reported that Erdoğan shared his expectation that the sensitivity by Israeli authorities in “keeping Al-Aqsa mosque open 24 hours in the last 10 days of Ramadan and closing it to visits by non-Muslims to continue.”

The issue of Palestine has been central in the decade-long tensions between Turkey and Israel.  

Erdoğan is a vocal supporter of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has, in the past, labelled Israel a “terror state,” over its treatment of Palestinians.

The presence in Turkey of senior Hamas figures, and frequent visits by the former leaders of the group, including Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshal, has been an issue of contention for Israel.

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