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Turkey and Israel relations to be restored

22 June 2016

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel are expected to be normalised by the end of July. This will follow the declaration to be made on 26th June by the undersecretaries of both Foreign Ministries.

Ambassadors will be appointed reciprocally. Following the signing in July, any blocks to international agreements will also be lifted; this will include joint military exercises, joint defence investment and joint energy investments.

Israel acceded to Turkey’s demand for an apology in 2013, after the Mavi Mara incident in 2010. However, relations did not improve as expected after Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza.

Both sides began a series of secret talks in December 2015 in order to find a rapprochement.

Compensation for the Mavi Marmara victims and the lifting of the blockade on Gaza were the other two conditions that Turkey demanded from Israel in exchange for a repairing of relations.

Sources said the two sides have met halfway on Turkey’s last and most controversial condition – the lifting of the embargo on Gaza. Accordingly, Israel has accepted the finalisation of procedures for a hospital to be built to serve Gazans, and will not put forward any obstacles to Turkish supplies of medicine and personnel for the hospital.

Meanwhile, Turkey and Germany will jointly build an energy power plant in Gaza to supply the electricity demand in the region, while Turkey will also construct a sea water distillation plant.

All the aid from Turkey will be delivered to Gaza on condition that it is transferred from the Ashdod port.

The steps for normalisation of ties come after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım sent reconciliatory messages to Israel on 17th June.

We are coming to a point with Israel. They are also showing the will. There are contacts. It’s not concluded yet but I don’t think it will take long. The most important thing here is lifting the isolation of Gaza for humanitarian purposes,” Yıldırım had said.

Hurriyet

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