'Israel, Turkey to exchange ambassadors after talks'

National security adviser Yaakov Amidror says compensation deal with families of 'Mavi Marmara' victims expected shortly.

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May 9, 2013 04:55
2 minute read.
'Mavi Marmara' under maintenance in Istanbul.

mavi marmara flotilla_311 reuters. (photo credit: Osman Orsal / Reuters)

BEIJING – Israel and Turkey will exchange ambassadors shortly after a compensation agreement over the Mavi Marmara incident is fully hashed out, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror said Wednesday in Beijing Amidror arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, two days after meeting a Turkish delegation for the second round of talks over the compensation package.

Amidror missed the Shanghai leg of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s five-day visit to China because of his meeting with the Turkish delegation.

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“It was a very good meeting and I hope that in a short time the agreement will be completed,” he said. A number of issues were agreed upon and some were outstanding, he added, refusing to elaborate.

“Until everything is agreed upon, nothing is agreed upon, he said, adding that he expected the agreement to be completed shortly.

Once the agreement is final, he said, it will only be a short period of time – a technical period – before the nations exchange ambassadors.

Turkish officials, however, expressed slightly less optimism.

According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that the delegations from both countries had yet to agree upon the compensation figures.

Compensation payment to the families of the nine Turkish activists – killed on the Mavi Marmara after IDF soldiers boarded the Gaza-bound ship to stop it from breaching Israel’s naval blockade of the area – is a key component of the reconciliation agreement.

“Work on compensation has not yet been finalized. There has not been a consensus on some important subjects,” Arinc said, according to the Daily Hurriyet.

Arinc said that the two delegations might need to meet for a third time to hammer out all the details, according to the Turkish daily..

According to Todays’ Zaman, another Turkish newspaper, there are reports that Turkey wants Israel to pay $1 million to each of the nine families, whereas Israel only wants to pay $100,000 per family.

On Monday night, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office said that Israeli and Turkish officials reached a draft agreement in Jerusalem that would mend the three-year diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

“The two sides expect to come to an agreement in the near future,” said the statement released by Netanyahu’s bureau after an eight-hour meeting between Israeli and Turkish delegations in the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

“The meeting was conducted in a good and positive manner.

The delegations reached an agreed draft, but further clarifications are required on certain subjects,” the statement said.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.


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