Lapid and Erdogan make first high-level Israel-Turkey meeting in years


TEL AVIV — Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the U.N. Basic Meeting on Tuesday, thawing a 14-year chill and heralding hopes of collaboration fueled by the potential of exporting pure fuel to an energy-desperate Europe.

Lapid’s workplace stated that Tuesday’s assembly in New York was the primary face-to-face encounter between leaders of the 2 nations since 2008 and that they mentioned “financial and power cooperation.”

A month in the past, Israel and Turkey introduced a full restoration of diplomatic ties and alternate of ambassadors, a growth that Lapid described as “an vital asset for regional stability and crucial financial information for the residents of Israel.”

Israel is hoping its fuel will lastly make it a part of the Center East

Turkey, the primary Muslim nation to acknowledge Israel as a state and, earlier than 2008, one among its strongest allies within the area, has over the previous decade and a half intensely challenged Israel over its therapy of Palestinians. Erdogan has repeatedly made parallels between his personal democratically elected Islamist get together and Hamas, which guidelines the blockaded Gaza Strip, calling it “a resistance motion that defends the Palestinian homeland towards an occupying energy.”

Turkey’s rising criticism of Israeli therapy of Palestinians induced diplomatic tumult. In 2010, Ankara recalled its ambassador after an Israeli naval commando raid on a Gaza-bound assist flotilla resulted within the deaths of 10 Turkish activists. Tensions once more boiled over in 2018, following bloody protests on the Gaza border provoked by President Donald Trump’s determination to maneuver the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and Turkey and Israel recalled their respective ambassadors.

However the tide has turned in current months, as Israel, exploiting its not too long ago found offshore pure fuel websites, seeks to export billions of cubic meters to a European market in search of to wean itself from Russian provides.

Israeli fuel is a part of a worldwide, patchwork power technique being solid by European leaders waiting for a probably troublesome winter. Russia’s pipeline fuel immediately makes up 9 % of all imported fuel to the European Union, in contrast with 40 % earlier than Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a part of this effort, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen signed a deal with Israeli and Egyptian leaders in June that can allow Israel to pipe pure fuel to Europe through Egyptian liquefaction amenities.

On account of the diplomatic pressure, Ankara deserted talks years in the past to construct an underwater pure fuel pipeline linking Israel to Europe through Turkey.

However Erdogan referred to as a go to to Turkey in March by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, the primary in over a decade, “a chance to revive the cooperation on the subject of power that started earlier than.”

At his speech earlier than the Basic Meeting on Tuesday, Erdogan highlighted power as a precedence in Turkey’s overseas coverage.

“Turkey has all the time checked out power as a discipline of cooperation relatively than competitors,” he stated. “Along with our personal wants, we’ve carried out many initiatives that assist regional and international power safety.”

Zeynep Karatas in Istanbul contributed to this report.

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