Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Photo: AFP
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
Photo: Reuters

Efforts to restore Israel-Turkey relation in high gear

US steps in to try and mediate between Jerusalem, Ankara in wake of fears that any further diplomatic deterioration would translate into regional instability

Israel stepping up its efforts to normalize its relations with Turkey and has involved Washington in the reconciliation attempts, diplomatic sources told Ynet on Tuesday.


Government sources are said to be angst over the possibility that any further deterioration in the diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey – which have hit an unprecedented low following the UN Palmer Report on the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid – might translate into regional instability.


More on Israel-Turkey tensions:


"Israel is constantly relaying messages to the Turks, saying that it wants to see this crisis blow over, and the Americans are involved as well," a Jerusalem source said.


Israel is also concerned about losing Turkey as a strategic ally. Jerusalem sources noted that the strategic and military cooperation between the two countries, as well as the two's defense contracts, has shrunk significantly. "Losing Turkey means a disconnect with the Arab and Muslim world," said the source.


Jerusalem is concerned that the recent detention of Israelis at Istanbul's airport is indicative of yet another slip in the relations between the two countries.


Israel cannot ignore the incident's proximity to Anraka's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador, another Jerusalem source said, adding that "it seems Turkey has chosen to punish Israel for the Palmer Report."


Turkey, he continued, seems "hell-bent on dragging Israel into a public confrontation in the international arena, but Jerusalem has no intention of 'playing ball.'"


Jerusalem has warned that should Turkey's persist in its actions its own economy will suffers, as Israeli businesses and tourists will tire of the hostility and choose other destinations.


Meanwhile, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he may visit Gaza Strip during his next trip to Egypt, while his Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Turkey has become an active partner in planning the Palestinian Authority's bid for UN recognition.


Davutoğlu met with Nabil Shaath on Monday in Istanbul. Following the meeting, Davutoğlu said that "Turkey's stance on the Palestinian bid is very clear. The Palestinians are right in their demands… and it must meet comprehensive (UN) support."


Ronen Medzini contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 09.06.11, 10:07
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