New round of Turkey Israel talks to begin

May 6, 2013 02:52

Compensation agreement for Mavi Marmara deaths to be further discussed; highest level Turkish envoy to visit Israel in last 3 years.

1 minute read.

Billboards put up in Ankara to thank Erdogan for getting Israel to apologize for Marmara incident.

Thanks Erdogan for Israel apology billboards 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

A Turkish delegation is expected to arrive in Israel on Monday for a second round of reconciliation talks, following a positive exchange between both sides in Ankara last month.

It's the highest level Turkish delegation to visit Israel in the last three years.

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In light of the growing threats from Syria and Iran, Israel and Turkey are looking to repair their severed relationship and normalize ties.

Ankara broke off relations with Jerusalem in May 2010, after the IDF raided the ship Mavi Marmara as it attempted to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, killing nine Turkish activists on board.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey for the deaths in March, at the tail end of a visit by United States President Barack Obama.

Last month, an Israeli delegation spent a day in Ankara and left believing it had laid the groundwork for the possibility of a full restoration of ties.

The two delegations spoke of Netanyahu’s pledge to conclude an “agreement on compensation/non-liability” with the families of the nine Turkish activists.

At that April meeting, the two delegations agreed on a mechanism by which to calculate the compensation figure that included parameters and principles, but did not discuss the actual sum.

It’s expected that they will discuss compensation figures at Monday’s meeting.

Only once a compensation agreement is reached, will the process start for the full resumption of diplomatic relations.

According to Turkish media reports, the delegation will be headed by Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, a former Turkish ambassador to Israel. He is expected to meet with Israel’s National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror and Joseph Ciechanover, who is in charge of Turkish affairs for the Prime Minister’s Office.

In April, the Turkish delegation was led by Deputy PM Bulent Arinc.

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