Turkey sends officials to Israel to discuss relations

Published August 31st, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Three top advisors of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left for Israel Monday on a mission to thaw relations strained over the premier's strong-worded criticisms against the Israeli government for the treatment of Palestinians.  


Omer Celik, Egemen Bagis and Mevlut Cavusoglu from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) are scheduled to hold talks with Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in Israel, alongside officials in charge of security, according to Turkey's Daily News.  


Speaking to reporters on behalf of the three-member delegation, Celik said prior to their flight that they were going to Israel at an official invitation from the Israeli side.  


Celik said the three-day visit would be an important opportunity to improve relations between Turkey and Israel, as they would explain to the Israeli officials their concerns for the region and listen to the their arguments.  


Asked whether the delegation was taking any package of proposals from the Turkish side concerning the clashes between Israel and Palestinians, Celik said there was no specific proposals that they were taking with them. "We just want to see and hear about the latest developments on the ground," he said.  


Celik said the delegation was scheduled to hold talks with Palestinian officials as well. (Albawaba.com)

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