Israeli President Isaac Herzog will pay an official visit to Turkey in February, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday, hailing it as a chance to repair frayed relations with the Jewish state, Agence France-Presse reported.
“This visit could open a new chapter in relations between Turkey and Israel,” Erdoğan said in an interview with Turkey’s NTV, adding that he was “ready to take steps in Israel’s direction in all areas, including natural gas.”
Relations between majority-Muslim Turkey and Israel were suspended over after the death of 10 civilians in an Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla carrying aid for the Gaza Strip in 2010.
In recent months, however, the two countries have been working on rapprochement, with Erdoğan, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, speaking on the phone with Herzog and other Israeli leaders.
The Turkish strongman had already said last week he was prepared to work with Israel on reviving an old project to ship Mediterranean gas to European clients via Turkey.
His remarks came after the United States reportedly dropped support for a rival pipeline project involving Israel and Turkey’s historic rival Greece.
Turkey had strongly opposed the project, which was supported by the administration of former US president Donald Trump.