Turkish official: J'lem, Ankara in contact to rebuild ties

Al Hura reports that Israel agreed to apologize for flotilla incident and pay reparations; Netanyahu refuses to comment on bilateral ties.

December 6, 2010 20:43
1 minute read.
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Erdogan flag 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

A senior advisor to Turkish President Abdullah Gul confirmed on Monday that there have been contacts between Ankara and Jerusalem to rebuild ties between the two countries, reported Israel Radio.

But in an interview with Israel Radio, the senior advisor refused to confirm or deny the existence of any agreements on Turkey-Israel relations.

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During a press conference on Monday, in response to journalists' questions, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he had nothing to say about the relationship with Turkey at this time. He said he had expressed his appreciation to the Turks for their assistance in putting out the Carmel fires, as well as his hope that the relationship with the Turks would improve.

Turkish sources say that an agreement is likely to end the political crisis between Israel and Turkey.

Earlier Monday, the American Arabic television network, al Hura, reported that Israel responded to most of Ankara's demands, and based on the proposed agreement, Israel said it would apologize to Turkey for the flotilla raid and pay reparations to the families of those who were killed in the incident.

On Sunday, the Israeli representative on the UN flotilla probe, Yosef Ciechanover, spoke with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu in Geneva on ways to resolve the crisis.

"The two met in order to find ways to promote appeasement and diminish the tension between the two countries," an Israeli official told CNN.

"We regretted the deterioration of the relationship between the two countries and we of course like to see an improvement of the relations," he added.

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