Peretz meets his Turkish counterpart for highest level Turkish-Israeli meeting in 3 years

Environmental protection minister tells conference in Istanbul he hopes Israel, Turkey can bridge gaps soon.

December 5, 2013 17:02
1 minute read.
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz at the weekly cabinet meeting, October 20, 2013.

Amir Peretz at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz met in Istanbul Thursday with his Turkish counterpart, the first time ministers of the two countries have met since the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010.

Peretz met with Turkish Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdogan Bayraktar for some 40 minutes on the sidelines of a UN-sponsored conference about Mediterranean marine and coastal environment issues.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

A spokesman for Peretz said the meeting was “very friendly.”

Diplomatic officials, however, were hesitant about saying whether this signaled a significant thawing in the frozen ties between the two countries, with one official saying only that “our position remains that we want to see a better relationship with Turkey.”

Peretz’s trip to Turkey was, like all ministerial trips abroad, approved by the cabinet and therefore had the approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Ankara, which once had a strategic relationship with Israel, withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv after the Mavi Marmara incident when nine Turks were killed aboard a ship stopped by the IDF that was trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza. The IDF soldiers were met by violent resistance when they boarded the ship.

In 2011 Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador.

Before meeting Bayraktar, Peretz – from Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua Party – addressed the conference and said he hoped that in the near future it would be possible to bridge the gaps between Israel and Turkey, saying that both Turkish and Israeli citizens wanted that to happen.

Peretz said during his address that he believed in a two-state solution, and that a way must be found to “break down walls and strengthen the ties between us and our neighbors.”

The former defense minister said he hoped that the agreement reached between the world powers and Iran in Geneva would not have a negative impact on the Israeli- Palestinian talks.

“The next five months are critical,” he said, referring to the deadline set for both the Palestinian-Israel talks as well as for reaching a comprehensive deal on Iran.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN