Israel-Turkey Reconciliation Talks Near Breakthrough, Turkish Official Says

The official said there are no political obstacles standing in the way of normalization of relations between the two nations.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Reconciliation talks aimed at ending the tensions between Israel and Turkey are progressing well, and an agreement could be struck in the very near future, a Turkish official said Thursday.

An imminent breakthrough in normalization efforts "should not surprise anyone," said the official, who spoke to Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman under condition of anonymity.

"I do not see any political obstacle standing in the way of normalization," said the official.

At the end of U.S. President Barack Obama's May visit to Israel, a telephone conversation was held between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the talk, Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people in regards to the events surrounding the Mavi Marmara crisis.

In the wake of the conversation, representatives of the two nations held several rounds of talks in an attempt to reach an agreement which would allow an end to the diplomatic tensions.

Despite the efforts, over the past few months negotiations stalled due to a dispute over the compensation Israel would pay towards families of the Turkish citizens killed and wounded by IDF soldiers during the raid staged on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. It is unclear if the Turkish official's comments signal a breakthrough on this issue.

Protesters in Istanbul commemorating second anniversary of the Mavi Marmara incident, June 2012.Credit: AP

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