Foreign Ministry D-G travels to Turkey for talks

Yossi Gal flies to Ankara to take part in bi-annual Turkish-Israeli strategic dialogue.

January 18, 2010 19:28
1 minute read.
turkey flag 88

turkey flag 88 . (photo credit: )

A day after Defense Minister Ehud Barak returned from Turkey, Foreign Minister Director-General Yossi Gal flew there Monday night to take part in the bi-annual Turkish-Israeli strategic dialogue, a further sign that Israel-Turkish ties have not collapsed.

Foreign Ministry officials said that the dialogue was scheduled well before Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon's public dressing down of the Turkish ambassador last week. Nevertheless, the officials said, the fact that the meeting was going on as scheduled was an indication that both sides were interested in repairing the ties.

The last such meeting took place in Jerusalem some six-months ago. These types of meetings deal less with security issues, the officials explained, and more with regional developments, such as the situation in Iraq, Iran and Europe. In addition, Turkey is often keen at these sessions to hear Israel take on developments inside the EU, where Turkey is still formally a candidate country.

Meanwhile, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on its website Monday that Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Reccep Erdogan said he was satisfied with Barak's characterization during his visit to Ankara of Ayalon's action as a "mistake," and said that Turkey would not pursue the matter further.

"We consider that Barak's statements were satisfactory. We will not bring the issue further," Erdogan said. "Turkey keeps establishing sound relations with the east-west and north-south. We want to have reputable relations with all countries," Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.

Barak, at a press conference in Turkey Sunday with his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul, said Ayalon's actions were a "mistake," and that "diplomatic relations should be run according to norms of diplomacy."

He went on to say that his visit to Ankara made him more confident "that even ups and downs can be corrected and we can continue tradition of friendship and cooperation."

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