Israel-Turkey to meet soon to mend ties
REUTERS photoOfficials from Turkey and Israel will meet soon to hold talks to mend the strained ties since 2010.
The Turkish and Israeli officials will meet in the first half of April, diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News on April 5, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The sources, however, did not disclose the exact time and venue of the meetings, as they were not yet clearly set.
The relationship between Turkey and Israel was severely strained after the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara vessel was raided by Israeli commandos in 2010, killing nine Turkish and one Turkish-American citizen on board.
The two countries have stepped up efforts in recent months to restore the relationship between the two countries, for which efforts at the undersecretary-level have taken place.
Following Israel’s formal apology to Turkey over the killing of its citizens, there are two remaining conditions that the former should fulfill before ties can be normalized and the two sides appoint ambassadors. These two conditions are Israel paying compensation for the Mavi Marmara victims and lifting of the Gaza.
Israeli daily Haaretz claimed that negotiating teams from Israel and Turkey would meet on April 7 in Europe in an effort to bridge the remaining gaps standing in the way of a reconciliation agreement between the two countries that would lead to a normalization of relations.
Senior Israeli officials noted that in recent weeks, and since the latest round of negotiations between the two countries, several drafts have been exchanged between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoy, Joseph Ciechanover, and Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu on the provisions of the reconciliation agreement that are still in dispute, Haaretz reported on April 4.