Turkey’s Erdogan says he plans to visit Israel

The Turkish leader’s announcement comes days ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.  

By World Israel News Staff

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said he plans to visit Israel, marking a departure from his well-documented hostility towards the Jewish state, which includes calling Israelis “child killing blood suckers.

The Turkish leader, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, spoke of his intentions to visit Israel at a meeting at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He didn’t specify when the visit would take place.

Erdogan also told the Jewish leaders that antisemitism is a “crime against humanity,” according to a source present at the meeting and cited by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

His remarks come amid thawing ties between Israel and Turkey. Last month, Ankara and Jerusalem announced that they would restore full diplomatic ties 12 years after they were partially severed in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident. in which a group of activists from a Turkish terror organization breached the naval blockade of Gaza.

“The resumption of relations with Turkey is an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for the citizens of Israel. We will continue to strengthen Israel’s standing in the world,” Prime Minister Lapid said in a statement in mid-August.

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Lapid is slated to meet with Erdogan on the sidelines of the General Assembly later this week, marking the first time leaders of the two countries have met since 2008.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday approved the appointment of Irit Lillian as Israeli ambassador to Turkey.