JERUSALEM, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu began his two-day visit to Israel and Palestine on Tuesday, the first trip to Israel by a senior Turkish official in over a decade.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the minister landed at the Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv and was welcomed by the ministry's Chief of State Protocol Gil Haskel and other officials.
On Tuesday, Cavusoglu is expected to travel to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to meet his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Maliki, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. On Wednesday, he will meet Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov in Jerusalem.
His itinerary also includes a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site in East Jerusalem that is holy to both Muslims and Jews, where tensions between Israeli security forces and Palestinians have been on the rise as Israeli authorities approved a flag parade by ultra-nationalist Israelis to pass nearby on Sunday.
Cavusoglu will also pay a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.
Turkey and Israel have been working to mend their ties after years of enmity, with talks on exporting natural gas from Israel to Europe via Turkey.
Ties between the two countries have strained since Israel's deadly assault on the Mavi Marmara flotilla to the besieged Gaza Strip in 2010.