Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold said on Monday that Israel seeks to normalize ties with Turkey, hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled a possible warming of relations with Israel.
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"Israel has always strived for stable relations with Turkey and is constantly examining ways to achieve that goal," Gold said. Earlier on Monday, Erdogan said that entire region would have much to gain from normalized ties with Israel.
Relations between former allies Turkey and Israel broke down in 2010 after an Israeli naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla killed nine Turkish citizens. Turkey has become the strongest critic of Israeli actions in Gaza.
The Daily Sabah news site cited Erdogan as reiterating three preconditions for the thaw between the two countries: an apology for the flotilla raid, compensation to the victims' families and the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Only the first condition has been met, Erdogan reportedly noted.
Israel apologized to Turkey for the deaths and agreed to compensate the victims' families under a U.S.-brokered arrangement in 2013. But efforts to restore ties faltered amid new Israeli action in Gaza.
"This normalization process would be good for us, Israel, Palestine and the entire region," he said. "The region definitely needs this. I don't believe the Israeli public is pleased with the current state of relations. We need to consider the interests of the people of the region and introduce peace."