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Visit by Turkish official to Israel expected

Israeli Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, said that his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, is set to visit Israel by the end of this year to conclude an agreement regarding the construction of a natural gas pipeline to transport gas from Israel to Turkey.

The visit by Albayrak, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and part of his inner circle, is considered a significant diplomatic move by Ankara after improving relations with Israel following a conflict which lasted years due to the attack on a Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza. This attack resulted in the death of ten Turkish activists in 2010. The conflict was settled in June 2016 and the two parties began discussing the gas pipeline project.

The Israeli energy minister said, in Istanbul, that the two countries decided to accelerate efforts to sign an intergovernmental agreement by the end of the year.

Read: Israel pays Turkey $20m compensation for Mavi Marmara attack

"Hopefully, Mr Albayrak will pay a visit to Israel this year in 2017, which will help us accelerate and try to conclude this agreement," Steinitz said.

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