Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday that Turkey and Israel had a meeting in Rome at foreign ministry level to reconcile the bilateral relations which have reached a freezing point after Israeli soldier stormed the Mavi Marmara flotilla, killing nine Turkish activists.
According to the allegations, Turkish Foreign Minister Director General Feridun Sinirlioglu and his Israeli counterpart Dore Gold resumed the already existing talks in Rome on Sunday to resolve the crisis between the two nations.
However, Turkish authorities have not yet made any comments nor confirmed the allegations by Haaretz, nor the Israeli side.
The report was based on the claims by an Israeli senior official, who asked for anonymity since the issue is “sensitive,” according to the Israeli newspaper.
The report continued as saying the negotiations were so top secret that Gold did not make his plans known even to Israeli National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy to Turkey, Joseph Ciechanover.
The relations between Turkey and Israel have been slowing down since 2009, when then prime minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chided down Israel’s then president Shimon Peres at World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The relations got even worse when Israeli soldiers raided on humanitarian aid carrying ship Mavi Marmara which sailed to break the blockade over Gaza in 2010, which led the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in September 2011.
During the United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel in March 2013, Netanyahu called Erdogan and apologised him for the civilian deaths during the Israeli naval raid.
Though relations between the two countries seemed to be warming up several months ago, with talk of an official Israeli apology and a reported agreement to pay reparations to the victims of the Marmara incident, ties took a turn for the worse following the recent conflagration in Gaza, over the course of Operation Protective Edge.
During the Israeli offensive on Gaza, at least 2,160 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians including dozens of children, and some 11,000 injured, according to data by the United Nation and Palestinian officials.