Israel and Turkey to restore full diplomatic relations

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Israel and Turkey have decided to restore full diplomatic ties and will return ambassadors to each other’s country following a steady improvement in relations, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid's office said on Wednesday.

“Upgrading relations will contribute to deepening ties between the two peoples, expanding economic, trade, and cultural ties, and strengthening regional stability,” said a statement issued following a conversation between Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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The two countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

A visit to Turkey by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in March, followed by visits by both foreign ministers, helped warm relations after more than a decade of tensions.

“It was decided to once again upgrade the level of the relations between the two countries to that of full diplomatic ties and to return ambassadors and consuls general from the two countries,” the statement said.

The move, which comes as Israel has sought to improve ties with regional powers, was agreed two years after the so-called Abraham Accords which saw relations normalized between Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

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