Ya’alon sent last week to Geneva for talks with Turks

Likud minister told Turks that Israel would be willing to pay compensation to 'Marmara' victims' families, but not apologize, Channel 2 reports.

June 23, 2011 22:12
1 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon.

yaalon office 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dispatched Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon to Geneva in recent days for talks with the director-general of the Turkish foreign ministry regarding ways of patching up the badly strained relations between the two countries.

The Turks are demanding that Israel both apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident last May when nine Turks were killed trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and pay compensation to the victim’s families.

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According to a Channel 2 report, Ya’alon discussed how to restore relations, and said that Israel would be willing to pay compensation to the families, but not apologize. Israel has said that it would, however, be willing to express “regret” for the incident. Both the Israeli and Turkish representatives on the UN panel investigating the incident were also present at the talks.

Similar talks were held, but failed to lead to a breakthrough, after the Turks sent planes to help put out the Carmel Forest fire last December.

Channel 2 said that Turkish sources were furious that news of the latest talks were leaked, and insisted that the discussion were only about their demand that Israel apologize.

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