Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu 'will visit Al-Aqsa' during Israel trip

Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu 'will visit Al-Aqsa' during Israel trip
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Israel next week, amid warming ties between the two countries.
2 min read
20 May, 2022
Al-Aqsa has been raided by Israeli forces and far-right extremists [Getty]

Turkey's foreign minister will visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem during his visit to Israel next week, according to reports.

Mevlut Cavusoglu is due to visit Israel on 24 May, following a warming of ties between the two countries.

His trip will include tour of Al-Aqsa compound, an unnamed source told Israeli broadcaster Kan, which has been at the heart of Palestinian protests against Israel's occupation.

Cavusoglu will be joined by Energy Minister Fatih Donmez and officials are expected to discuss bilateral relations and re-appointing ambassadors.

The warming ties are believed to centre on potential cooperation on energy issues.

Despite this, Turkey has condemned recent Israeli assaults on Palestinian protesters.

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Dozens of Palestinians were injured at Al-Aqsa following Israel's brutal attack on worshippers at the site last month.

Far-right Israeli extremists regularly launch provocative raids on the compound under Israeli military protection.

After decades of close relations, ties between Turkey and Israel have been rocky in recent years.

In 2010, an Israeli raid on a peace flotilla travelling to Gaza killed nine Turkish activists, which then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described as "state terrorism".

Turkey downgraded relations again in 2018 after President Donald Trump said the US would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinians see the occupied east of the city as a capital city for its future state.

The two countries have improved relations since then, with the Turkish visit to Israel seen as a key move in repairing ties.

Turkey and Israel have looked at reviving a long-dormant idea of a gas pipeline between the two countries.

Turkey has also re-established ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, after years of tensions.