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November 18, 2021 10:35 am

Bennett to Thank Erdogan for Couple’s Release in Rare Phone Call

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avatar by i24 News

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sits next to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News – Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to speak by phone on Thursday with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to thank him for the release of the Israeli couple jailed on suspicion of espionage.

The call would be the first official communication between an Israeli prime minister and Turkey’s president since former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Erdogan in 2013.

In July, Erdogan spoke by phone with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, congratulating him on being inaugurated as the Jewish state’s 11th president.

The two men said that Israeli-Turkish relations were of great importance for security and stability in the Middle East and that there is a high potential for cooperation between the two countries in many areas, especially those of energy, tourism, and technology.

Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid were also expected Thursday to speak with Natalie and Mordy Oknin, the couple arrested in Istanbul on November 11 after taking photographs of the presidential palace.

The couple, bus drivers in their 40s, landed in Israel Thursday morning, where they were greeted by family members before heading to their home in the central Israeli city of Modi’in.

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