Obama urges Turkey’s Erdogan to improve Israel relations


WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama urged Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to improve relations with Israel in the face of regional turmoil.

"The President expressed his hope to Prime Minister Erdogan that Turkey and Israel will find opportunities to improve their relations in the interest of regional stability," said an April 25 White House statement describing Obama’s call with Erdogan.

Obama and Erdogan discussed the current unrest in Libya and Syria.

Israel and Turkey have had parlous relations since Israeli forces killed nine Turks, including one Turkish-American dual citizen, during a raid last year on a flotilla aiming to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Turkey are the two closest U.S. allies in the region.

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