Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on Thursday, according to a statement from Gantz’s office.

Gantz arrived in Turkey on Wednesday, marking the first official visit by an Israeli defense minister to the country in more than a decade.

In August, Israel and Turkey announced the restoration of full diplomatic relations following a years-long rift.

Bilateral relations took a nosedive in the wake of the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, in which nine Turkish nationals were killed during an attempt to break the naval blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced in September the appointment of Irit Lillian as ambassador to Turkey, the first person to hold the post since 2018, when Turkey expelled Israel’s envoy and withdrew its own ambassador amid fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinians along the Gaza border.

On Thursday, Gantz also met his counterpart Hulusi Akar at the Turkish Defense Ministry.

The resumption of defense ties comes after Jerusalem and Ankara worked together over the summer to foil Iranian plots to attack Israelis on Turkish soil.

JNS

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