Obama wants Kerry to pursue Turkish-Israeli mediation until full normalization
WASHINGTON – Anatolia News Agency
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed that US top diplomat John Kerry would stage successive visits to Istanbul and Jerusalem this weekend. Hürriyet photoU.S. President Barack Obama has requested his secretary of state, John Kerry, to pursue mediation between Turkey and Israel “until the thaw leads to a complete normalization,” the U.S. State Department said April 3.
“State Secretary Kerry will have the opportunity to encourage both countries to work together and deepen the normalization process,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding that more steps were needed for normalization.
Nuland also confirmed that Kerry would stage successive visits to Istanbul and Jerusalem this weekend.
“This is a work in progress. It's just the beginning,” Obama said in his first comments following Israel’s apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara raid late last month. The U.S. president had described the step as “the beginning of the process of rebuilding” during a press conference in the Jordanian capital Amman, hours after he mediated on an apology during an official visit to Israel.
Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry told reporters that Kerry would meet with Turkish officials on April 7.
Nuland also said the peace process in the Middle East and a recent letter from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu regarding Cyprus would be on the agenda during the April 7 meeting.