Turkish-Israeli normalization has much to offer region, Erdoğan says
AA photoThe normalization of Turkish-Israeli ties has a lot to offer not only to the two countries and Palestine, but also to the region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“This normalization process has a lot to offer to us, to Israel, to Palestine and also to the region,” daily Habertürk quoted Erdoğan as saying as returned from Turkmenistan to Turkey. “The region needs this.”
Turkish-Israeli relations have been tense since Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound flotilla of mainly Turkish activists, killing 10 people aboard the Mavi Marmara, the largest of the six vessels in the flotilla, on May 31, 2010.
Erdoğan said there were three obstacles to mending ties with Israel after the flotilla raid, but that the first of the hindrances – an apology from Israel – had been removed. Still, Turkey has demanded compensation and the lifting of an embargo on Gaza before any ultimate normalization in ties, he added.
“The last two items have not been realized,” said Erdoğan, adding that he had conveyed his message that Turkey could pursue normalization with Israel if compensation is paid and the embargo on Palestine is lifted.
Stating that peace was needed in the region as soon as possible, Erdoğan said the interests of all the nations subject to the conflict needed to be addressed.