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Israel's first ambassador to Turkey since 2010 presented his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, completing a critical step in the normalization of relations after a bitter diplomatic rift.
Eitan Naeh was received by President Erdogan at the presidential complex in Ankara, handing over his formal credentials and introducing his staff, a video shared on the Turkish president's website showed.
The video showed Erdogan, greeting the new envoy warmly and sharing a few words.
Naeh is an experienced diplomat regarding relations with Turkey. He served as second and first secretary in Ankara between 1993 and 1997, after which he was appointed as the head of the Turkish-Greek and Cyprus desk in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem in 1999, a title he held for 10 years. This focus of Naeh also indicates that energy issues, mainly concerning the Eastern Mediterranean gas fields, will be among the top priorities of bilateral relations between two countries.
In the aftermath of the raid which killed 10 Turkish activists, the two countries pulled their envoys out from the respective capitals as relations fell to an all-time low.
Both countries decided to appoint ambassadors after a six-year-long dispute due to the Mavi Marmara incident. Relations between Turkey and Israel declined in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship en route to delivering humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. The raid killed 10 activists.
2016.12.05 / 17:24