Lieberman: Israel-Turkey Relations Will Soon Normalize

Foreign Minister says there is every reason to believe the two countries will reconcile the 2010 Gaza Mavi Marmara crisis.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Photo of Mavi Marmara taken on May 22, 2010
Photo of Mavi Marmara taken on May 22, 2010 Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed optimism Friday regarding the conclusion of the reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Israel.

"There’s every reason to believe that relations between Israel and Turkey will be normalized. We believe that in the near future the situation will return to its normal course and our relations will improve."

Lieberman's words mirror the declarations made by senior Turkish officials in recent weeks.

Last Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS that the two countries reached an understanding on the compensation amount Israel will pay the families of the victims of the 2010 Mavi Marmara that made its way to Gaza. Haaretz was the first to report that the amount the sides agreed on was 20-23 million dollars.

"Sending humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza through Turkey is the next phase in contacts," Erdogan said. "Once this stage is complete, we can move on to the normalization process. I spoke with my colleagues in the Foreign Ministry and I think it is a matter of days or weeks," he said.

Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made similar statements, expressing that "the gap between the expectations of the two sides is closing," and that there was "positive momentum and a process in a positive direction."

He stressed that Turkey is interested in ending the crisis. "Progress has been made to a great extent, but the two sides need to meet again for a final agreement."

Davutoglu also said that "an answer is expected from the Israeli side" to Turkey's demands. "What's important is to reach an agreement," he added.

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