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Turkish envoy to Washington returning to U.S. amid Jerusalem row: Turkish official

FILE PHOTO: Turkish Ambassador to the United States Serdar Kilic speak to the Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s ambassador to Washington is returning to the United States after being recalled for consultations two weeks ago over a U.S. decision to move its Israeli Embassy to contested Jerusalem, an official in the Turkish foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Serdar Kilic was recalled to Ankara amid a dispute with Israel and Washington over the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces on the Gaza border earlier this month.

Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s response to the Gaza protests and of the U.S. Embassy move, also recalling its ambassador from Tel Aviv and calling for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who will travel to Washington on June 4, said on Wednesday that Kilic would return to make preparations for the visit.

Cavusoglu will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit, where the two will discuss a roadmap for northern Syria’s Manbij, which Turkey wants cleansed of the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG militia Ankara considers a terrorist organization.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan