Netanyahu expects April to bring normalisation to ties with Turkey

Israel expects normalisation in broken relations with Turkey, as Israeli prime minister says additional meeting will be held within next month

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivering a speech in Jerusalem, July 6, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday an additional meeting with Turkish officials will probably be held soon to normalise broken relations with Turkey.

Netanyahu said he is expecting a normalisation in April after Turkish and Israeli officials meet for an additional meeting.

"An additional meeting will be probably held soon,” said Netanyahu.

“I hope it will lead to a positive result, that is a full rehabilitation of the relations."

The relations between the two states slowed down in 2009, when then prime minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admonished Israel’s then president Shimon Peres at World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, over Israeli aggression on Palestinians.

The ties got even worse when Israeli soldiers raided a humanitarian aid carrying ship Mavi Marmara which sailed to break the blockade over Gaza in 2010, which led to the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in September 2011.

Though relations between the two countries seemed to be warming up several months ago, with talk of an official Israeli apology in March 2013 and a reported agreement to pay reparations to the victims of the Marmara incident.

In late June of 2015, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced Ankara and Tel Aviv have started negotiations in order to restore the relations, with three demands from Turkey.

Turkey has long been demanding that Israel apologises to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident, compensate the victims of the flotilla, and lift the blockade from Gaza, as the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted.  

The Israeli government, following a telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Erdogan, apologised to Turkey in March 2013.

The Israelis also accepted compensation for the attack on the Mavi Marmara.

The only obstacle that stands against an agreement between the two states is the lifting of the blockade from Gaza.

TRTWorld and agencies