Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday for the first face-to-face talks between leaders of the U.S.-allied nations since 2008, Lapid’s office said.
Relations between the two countries have warmed in recent months, with the announcement of the restoration of full diplomatic relations in mid-August. They are expected to exchange new ambassadors soon. One point of contention over the years has been NATO-member Turkey’s hosting of members of Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist movement that rules Gaza and which much of the West designates as a terrorist group.
Lapid thanked Erdogan for the countries’ intelligence sharing and highlighted Israel’s demand for the return of four of its citizens, two of them soldiers that have been missing in the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war, Lapid’s office said.