Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the possible normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia, in his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly overnight, his office said.
Netanyahu thanked Erdogan for the actions of the Turkish security forces to save the lives of Israelis targeted by terror squads last year and the close cooperation with Israeli security agencies.
The meeting after Netanyahu's predecessors worked to repair the tense relations between the prime minister's previous governments and Ankara. The two leaders issued mutual invitations for visits and agreed to finalize dates in the near future.
In a statement following the hour-long meeting, Erdogan's office said the leaders discussed the regional economy, politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Netanyahu's office did not mention. "They discussed regional cooperation on energy, technology, innovation, AI and cybersecurity," the Turkish statement said adding they also spoke about cooperating on the search for, production and export of natural gas.
Mossad Chief David Barnea joined Netanyahu in the meeting that was held in the Turkish Embassy attached to the UN and was closed to the media.
Rabbi Marc Schneier who heads the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and enjoys close relations with the Turkish leader said Israel and Turkey are in the midst of renewing mutual trust. "The Turkish expectations went beyond a regular meeting," he said adding that the ministers of energy, commerce and technology were also present.
"Their participation reflects what Ankara regards as an opportunity for both countries to cooperate on energy, economy and science."
He said there could be an announcement as early as next week, of a Netanyahu visit to Turkey. "There is a chance that Erdogan will visit Jerusalem on Israel's 75th anniversary, but that depends on two things: the relations between the leaders during their meeting and the internal strife in Israel of recent months."