WASHINGTON – Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is advocating that Israel use
the “Pakistan model” to provide an apology to Turkey in order to mend the rift
between the two countries.
Turkey severely downgraded ties with Israel
following the 2010 flotilla incident in which Turkish citizens on a ship trying
to break the Gaza blockade were killed by the IDF. Turkey has demanded an
apology as well as other measures to restore relations.
between the United States and Pakistan, became seriously strained after US
airstrikes in 2011 killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers. After months of
back-and-forth, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a carefully
worded message to her counterpart in which she said she was sorry for the loss
of Pakistani life.
“This text should be and could be the blueprint for
our text,” Ayalon said during a visit to Capitol Hill earlier this
Ayalon, who raised Turkish ire a few months ahead of the flotilla
incident by publicly snubbing Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, said he believes
the relationship can be fixed.
“We can really resolve the flotilla
issue,” Ayalon said, noting that he already he sees “some improvement” in the
interaction between two countries that were once close allies.
pointed out that “back-channels” have been established to try to work out the
situation. He declined to provide any details regarding who was participating in
these backchannels or how they were proceeding.
At least twice in the
past few months there have been reports that Israeli and Turkish officials have
met to discuss issues pertaining to their ruptured relationship.
December, it was first reported in The Jerusalem Post that the Turkish
government had removed its objection to Israel participating as a partner nation
in certain NATO activities that it had blocked in the past.
emphasized that Israel and Turkey share many interests, for when it comes to
managing the Syrian crisis.
“We need to put it back on track,” he said of
the relationship between the two countries.