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Israel’s Lapid to Visit Turkey Following Secret Visit by Ushpiz

Israel’s Lapid to Visit Turkey Following Secret Visit by Ushpiz

Friday, 11 February, 2022 - 09:30
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (AP)

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will visit Turkey in mid-March to participate in a forum and meet with several senior officials, said a source in Tel Aviv on Friday.

The source affirmed that Lapid was officially invited to participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which is scheduled to be held between March 11-13.

He will meet there with government representatives and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

According to the source, Israeli President Isaac Herzog is expected to arrive in Ankara a few days later.

Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Alon Ushpiz secretly visited Turkey last month, the source added.

He met with Ibrahim Kalin, chief adviser and spokesperson to the Turkish president.

According to the Ynetnews website, the meeting followed a series of important talks held between Kalin and the Chargé d’Affairs of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Irit Lillian.

Lillian stated that Kalin played a major role in the release of the Israeli couple, Mordy and Natalie Oknin, last year.

Since then, the relationship with him has been enhanced through the embassy in Ankara.

Ushpiz's visit to Ankara is the first in six years at the political level by an Israeli official.

The Director-General of Foreign Affairs, Yuval Rotem, visited Turkey in 2016 after the suicide bombing in Istanbul that killed three Israeli tourists.

Ynet said that the Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to comment on this news. However, well-informed sources confirmed that Ushpiz's visit was in preparation for Lapid and Herzog’s upcoming visits.

A Turkish official is expected to visit Israel soon as part of the preparations for the major visit Herzog will make to Ankara, revealed Turkey’s Hurriyet daily newspaper.

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