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Report: Turkey-Israel normalization talks underway
Turkish official says talks to end diplomatic crisis are to yield results soon. 'I do not see any political obstacle standing in the way of normalization,' official says

A Turkish official said Thursday that Turkish-Israeli talks to end a diplomatic crisis between the two countries are on track and can be concluded at any time, Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported.

 

“This should not surprise anyone,” the official, who spoke this week on condition of anonymity, told the Turkish newspaper regarding progress in the normalization process, adding “I do not see any political obstacle standing in the way of normalization,” the official said.

 

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Relations between Israel and its former strategic partner, Turkey, were badly frayed in 2010 when Israeli nine Turkish activists were killed in an IDF raid on a boat challenging Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas Islamist-run Gaza Strip.

 

Turkey has demanded a formal apology from Israel over the deadly naval raid, compensation for victims and their families and for the Gaza blockade to be lifted.

 

Ankara expelled Israel's ambassador and froze military cooperation after a UN report into the incident, released in September 2011, largely exonerated the Jewish state.

 

Israel has voiced "regret", short of the full apology demanded, and has offered to pay into what it called a "humanitarian fund" through which casualties and relatives could be compensated.

 

An improvement in Israel-Turkey ties would help regional coordination to contain spillover from the Syrian civil war.

 

Reuters contributed to this report

 

 

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פרסום ראשון: 09.05.13, 23:07
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