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Israeli Minister to Visit Turkey First Time in Six Years

© AP Photo / Remy de la MauviniereYuval Steinitz, Israel's minister for strategic affairs
Yuval Steinitz, Israel's minister for strategic affairs - Sputnik International
Israel's Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz will visit Turkey this week in the first ministerial visit between the two states for six years after severing diplomatic relations in 2010, the Israeli Embassy in Ankara said Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin - Sputnik International
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TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Steinitz will meet on Thursday with his Turkish counterpart Berat Albayrak in Istanbul in order to discuss energy cooperation between the two countries and attend the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

"It is the result of the rapprochement agreed upon by the two countries. The visit is the expression of the great potential that exists in bilateral political and economic relations," the Israeli Embassy said in a statement.

Turkish honour guard soldiers hold an Israeli, right, and Turkish flag, left, after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul reviewed the military guard of honour before their talks in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010 - Sputnik International
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Relations between the two countries soured after Israeli marines stormed an aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, killing 10 Turkish activists on board.

In June, Israel and Turkey signed a deal to restore ties. Israel also made a formal apology for the raid, paid Turkey 20 million dollars in compensation for it and agreed to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

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