Israeli, Turkish leaders hold first meeting since 2008

This combo photo shows Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. (PHOTOS / AP & AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday for the first face-to-face talks between leaders of the two nations since 2008, Lapid's office said.

Israel-Türkiye relations have warmed in recent months, with energy emerging of as a key area of cooperation. They are expected to exchange new ambassadors soon.

As well as discussing energy, Lapid thanked Erdogan for the countries' intelligence sharing and noted Israel's demand for the return of four of its citizens – two of them soldiers – missing in the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war, Lapid's office said.

Türkiye has been hosting members of Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist movement that rules Gaza. 

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