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
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
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