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Israeli, Turkish leaders meet for 1st time since 2008


New York, Sep 22
On the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came together for a meeting, the first between leaders of the two nations since 2008.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by Lapid's office, the meeting was also the first since the announcement of the restoration of full diplomatic representation and the return of Ambassadors and Consuls-General to Israel and Turkey last month.

According to the office, Lapid commended the increased level of representation as well as the appointment of a new Israeli Ambassador to Turkey, Irit Lillian.

The two leaders also discussed the fight against terrorism in Israel, while Lapid thanked Erdogan for intelligence cooperation at the time of Iran's attempts to carry out terrorist attacks on Turkish soil.

The Prime Minister also brought up the issue of missing and captive Israelis.

Additionally, the two leaders discussed economic and energy cooperation, as well as regional developments.

The Prime Minister also positively noted the restoration of Israeli flights to Turkey, and said this step will contribute greatly to strengthening tourism between the nations, the office statement added.

Taking to Twitter, Lapid said the meeting was "productive", adding that "relations between Israel and Turkey are key for regional stability, and bring tangible benefits for both our countries".

Tensions have simmered between the two sides since the 2008-2009 Gaza War and the death of nine Turkish civilians in a 2010 Israeli raid on the Turkish relief ship while trying to break the blockade on the besieged enclave.