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New Israeli ambassador arrives in Ankara

1 December 2016

Israel sent its new ambassador to Turkey on Thursday. According to an unnamed Israeli official, the new Ambassador Eitan Na’eh had arrived in Ankara.

Na’eh, a career diplomat, worked at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara from 1993 to 1997.

Relations between Turkey and Israel hit an all-time low six years ago after the Mavi Mara incident. In 2010, Israeli commandos boarded the aid ship ‘Mavi Mara’ bound for Gaza, killing ten Turkish activists.

Both countries subsequently withdrew their envoys. However in June, following a  long-running series of secret talks, when Israel offered $20 million in compensation, an apology for the raid, and permission for Turkish aid to reach Gaza, the two countries agreed to renew diplomatic ties.

Only last week, Turkish firefighting planes were sent to Israel to help quell raging bushfires.

When he arrived at the airport in Ankara, Ambassador Na’eh thanked Turkey for its support and warm welcome. “We have a history of helping each other in times of need”, he said.

In a video shared by the embassy’s official Facebook account, Na’eh said: “I am very happy to be back in Turkey as ambassador. We have a lot of work to do… I am looking forward to starting the work here, officially.”

The US will also be satisfied that NATO ally Turkey and Israel have renewed their ties.

Meanwhile, Ankara has appointed Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s foreign affairs advisor Kemal Okem as its ambassador to Israel.

World Bulletin

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