Netanyahu Hopes Negotiations With Turkey in April Will Allow Mending of Ties

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Netanyahu during a press conference, March 23, 2016.
Netanyahu during a press conference, March 23, 2016.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that he was hopeful that upcoming negotiations between Israel and Turkey "will produce positive results" and enable the renewal of relations between the two countries.

Diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey have been in a state of crisis since the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010. Teams from the two countries are due to resume negotiations in early April.

"We have always wanted correct relations with Turkey and it wasn't us who changed the direction of the relations," Netanyahu told a press conference. "If possible, we would like to normalize the ties."

Netanyahu spoke several hours after President Reuven Rivlin held a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During the press conference, Netanyahu drew a comparison between the Islamic State terror attacks in Istanbul and Brussels and the Palestinian terror attacks in Israel.

He stated that he had told Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and European Union Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini that terror must be denounced and fought wherever it occurs and that terrorists must be deprived of hope.

"Terror derives from murderous ideology and not from occupation," he said. "Not from despair but from the hope of establishing an Islamic caliphate."

Asked whether he was attempting to fudge the government's difficulty in dealing with terror in Israel by talking about terror in Europe, Netanyahu said: "I'm not fudging anything."

"We are taking unprecedented action against terror and have managed to prevent many attacks by our actions It's not for nothing that many countries around the world come to us to learn from our experience. The number is growing by the day,"

Netanyahu called on the Israeli public to show fortitude and patience, saying that "terror is washing over the entire world and Israel is in the eye of the storm."

Relating to the threat by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to attack Israel's nuclear facilities, Netanyahu said: "I wouldn't advise Nasrallah to test Israel's determination. He knows very well why he is sitting in a bunker."

Click the alert icon to follow topics: