Israeli president casts Turkey visit as part of climate campaign

Israeli President Isaac Herzog stands to speak during Israel's National Day ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 31, 2022. REUTERS/Christopher Pike

JERUSALEM, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Israel's president confirmed on Wednesday that he will visit Turkey, casting the trip to a former security partner as part of an attempt to create a regional alliance on climate change.

Though his role is largely ceremonial, President Isaac Herzog has been reinforcing Israeli diplomacy aimed at improving ties with Ankara, where there has been censure of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians.

Israel, in turn, wants an end to Turkish support for Islamist Hamas militants, and has also sought to reassure Greece and Cyprus that its relations with those countries will remain steadfast.

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"In the coming month, I am due to visit our Mediterranean coast neighbours Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, and meet their leaders," Herzog told a climate conference.

With these three countries, as well as with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinians, he said he wanted to forge "a regional partnership for addressing the climate crisis."

Turkish media have given March 9-10 as the dates for Herzog's visit. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said energy cooperation will be discussed. read more

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Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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