Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, offering his condolences for the many casualties of a massive earthquake that struck Turkey’s east a day before.
Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office indicated that Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s offer to send rescue crews and aid in wake of the earthquake, saying only that Erdogan thanked the premier for his offer.
On Sunday, despite the frantic search and rescue efforts, Turkey turned down Israel’s offer, as well as similar offers from several other countries.
Ankara issued a statement saying that the extent of the damage was still being investigated and that no international aid was immediately needed.
Monday’s conversation represents the first time Netanyahu and Erdogan had spoken in ten month, with their last talk taking place in December 2010, following Turkey’s assistance in fighting a major wildfire that raged in Israel’s north.
Netanyahu’s conversation with Erdogan comes following a period of tension in Israel-Turkey ties, following Israel’s 2010 raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, which resulted in the deaths of 9 Turkish nationals.
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This story "Bibi Offers Quake Condolences to Turkish Leader" was written by Haaretz.