Turkey and Israel to exchange ambassadors in coming weeks

Published August 29th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
Relations between Israel and Turkey were disrupted in May 2010 after Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara, killing ten Turkish citizens as they attempted to sail to Gaza to break the blockade. (AFP/File)
Relations between Israel and Turkey were disrupted in May 2010 after Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara, killing ten Turkish citizens as they attempted to sail to Gaza to break the blockade. (AFP/File)

Turkey and Israel will exchange ambassadors within the next few weeks following reconciliation between the countries earlier in the summer, Amira Oron, Israel’s charge d'affaires in Ankara, told Anadolu Agency.

Oron, who is Israel’s senior diplomat in Turkey in the absence of an ambassador, said the approval of June’s normalization agreement by the Turkish parliament last week was a critical phase in the restoration of links between the nations.

“We have reached a good result,” she said. “It will be a good start and a basis for our relationship to continue. After all the necessary procedures are complete, we, actually, are at the beginning of the normalization process.

“When we know that we are able to return to ambassador-level relations, I believe we will see enhanced activity between the two countries.”

Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel were disrupted in May 2010 when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists on an aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, heading for Gaza.

Turkey demanded a number of conditions -- an apology, the payment of compensation and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade -- be fulfilled before the return of normal relations. Ankara now considers these terms satisfied.

“At the end of the day, all of these efforts will bring us to one solution, to one sentence -- to rebuild confidence between two nations and two peoples,” Oron said.

“If we have confidence, if both peoples can share aspirations and interests, it will be wonderful for both sides. Confidence is a major issue in our relations for the future.”

She identified the economy, energy and information-sharing as the three most significant aspects in normalizing ties and said trade between the countries could reach $8 billion.

Gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean will also prove to be a new aspect to the relationship, the envoy added.


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