15:39 GMT04 April 2020
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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked United States Vice President Joe Biden for his support during the negotiations between Israel and Turkey in a telephone conversation between the two leaders, the White House said on Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Relations between Israel and Turkey deteriorated after the Freedom Flotilla incident in 2010, when a convoy of six ships, including one under Turkey's flag, tried to approach the Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid and activists on board. The flotilla was blocked and stormed by Israeli forces, resulting in eight Turkish citizens being killed.

    Turkey responded by expelling the Israeli ambassador from the country, recalling its ambassador from Israel and demanding a formal apology from Israel, as well as compensation for the victims' families.

    In late March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country was ready to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. The following month, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the bilateral talks on normalizing the relations reached certain progress.

    "Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel called the Vice President today to thank him for encouraging normalization talks between Israel and Turkey," the White House said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

    Israel and Turkey are expected present an agreement on normalizing relations on Monday, after six years of mutual estrangement.

    "The Vice President congratulated the Prime Minister for progress toward reconciliation with Turkey, noting the significant positive security and economic benefits for both countries and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region," the White House added.

    Joe Biden, Turkey, Israel
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