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September 25
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Turkey and Israel are planning a conference on economic and trade relations as they seek to restore their relations, Asharq Al-Awsat reported, citing an unnamed political source in Tel Aviv.

The event will take place in the fall, with Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barbivai appointing Ambassador Matan Safran as Turkey's new economic attaché, the London-based newspaper reported.

The reopening of Israel's economic and trade relations office in Istanbul, announced in July, reflects its commitment to deepening relations, Barbivai said.

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have been strained for a decade over Turkey's support for Hamas, its criticism of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and disagreements over energy policy in the eastern Mediterranean.

The economic conference will be the fifth between the two countries. The last such event was held in 2009.

Economic relations between Israel and Turkey have not been significantly affected by the downturn in bilateral relations that led to the recall of the two countries' ambassadors in 2018. They have yet to be restored.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, trade reached a record $7.7 billion last year, an increase of 30 percent a year. Turkey is Israel's fourth most important trading partner.

On Friday, Israel carried out airstrikes on Gaza, saying it was a preventive step to prevent an Islamic Jihad attack. Although Turkey condemned the strikes and said it was deeply concerned about the latest round of violence, it supported Hamas' position not to engage in hostilities.

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