Turkey's foreign minister to visit Israel next month

The meeting comes amid increasing violence in Jerusalem and after Isaac Herzog's meeting with Erdogan in March.

 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a joint news conference with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani, in Manama, Bahrain, January 31, 2022.  (photo credit: HAMAD I MOHAMMED/REUTERS)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a joint news conference with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani, in Manama, Bahrain, January 31, 2022.
(photo credit: HAMAD I MOHAMMED/REUTERS)

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he will visit Israel on May 24 amid increasing efforts between the regional rivals to mend ties, four years after they expelled ambassadors.

Turkey and Israel have in recent weeks been working to mend their long-strained ties, and energy has emerged as a potential area of cooperation.

President Tayyip Erdogan said last month he was "very, very hopeful" for energy cooperation with Israel, and he hoped to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

On Tuesday, Erdogan said he told his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, that he was "very upset" by Palestinians injured or killed in the West Bank and Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The two countries expelled ambassadors in 2018 and have often traded barbs over the Palestinian conflict, Turkish support of the Hamas militant group, which runs Gaza, and other issues.

 Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog shake hands during a joint new conference in Ankara. (credit: PRESIDENTiAL PRESS OFFICE/REUTERS) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog shake hands during a joint new conference in Ankara. (credit: PRESIDENTiAL PRESS OFFICE/REUTERS)

Speaking to broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said he will travel to Israel and the West Bank with Energy Minister Fatih Donmez on May 24 and would discuss the appointment of ambassadors with his Israeli counterpart during the visit.