22:11 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Biden, Netanyahu Discuss Efforts to Improve Israel-Turkey Relations

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    Biden and Netanyahu discussed over the phone today ways to improve ties between Israel and Turkey.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed over the phone today ways to improve ties between Israel and Turkey, the White House announced in a release.

    "Following up on their recent discussion in Davos, Switzerland, Vice President Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier today to discuss ongoing efforts to improve Israel-Turkey relations and advance energy cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean," the release said.

    Relations between Jerusalem and Ankara deteriorated after an incident in 2010 when Israeli forces stormed an allegedly humanitarian convoy of six boats, including one under Turkey's flag, to approach the Gaza Strip. Eight Turkish citizens were killed in the incident.

    Turkey responded by expelling the Israeli ambassador and recalled its ambassador from Israel.

    In December 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country would benefit from improving relations with Israel.

    However, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in late 2015 that Turkey has ruled out the possibility of rapprochement with Israel if Jerusalem does not lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip that it imposed in 2007.


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