U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Turkish leaders to speedily restore full diplomatic relations with Israel, two American allies the U.S. sees as anchors of stability in an unstable Middle East.

Kerry says Turkish-Israeli cooperation will help tackle challenges across the region.

He spoke after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (AH'-meht dah-voot-OH'-loo). He meets Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) later Sunday.

Kerry is trying to firm up the Turkish-Israeli rapprochement that President Barack Obama kick-started on a visit to the Jewish state last month.

Kerry travels later Sunday to Israel.

The two nations were once close partners, but the relationship plummeted after a 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. Eight Turks and a Turkish-American died.