Israeli and Turkish flags [Illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Foreign Ministry would not comment Monday evening to reports that Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold held a secret meeting in Rome earlier in the day with senior Turkish diplomat Feridun Sinirlioglu.
“We are not relating to the meetings of the Foreign Ministry director-general,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emanuel Nachshon said.
The meeting comes just weeks after Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan's AKP Party failed to win a majority in Turkish parliamentary elections, delivering him a stinging rebuke and scuttling his plans to expand his presidential powers.
Sinirlioglu, undersecretary of the Turkish foreign ministry, was his country's ambassador to Israel from 2002 to 2007. The meeting between Gold and Sinirligolu comes after previous attempts to bring about an Israeli-Turkish reconciliation following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident have failed. Thee efforts included an apology in 2013 from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Erdogan that was brokered by US President Barack Oobama.
The conventional wisdom in Jerusalem is that such a reconciliation, and a true normalization of ties between the two countries, will be extremely difficult as long as Erdogan is in power in Turkey.