Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that an agreement to normalise relations with Israel will soon be concluded, the European Jewish Press reports.
In an interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose, Erdogan said:“We have come to an agreement” over a compensation package. “The other step of the negotiations,” he said involved arrangements for Palestinian aid to be delivered through Turkey.
Erdogan added :“With the completion of that phase we can move towards a process of normalisation … I think we’re talking about days, weeks,” specifying that the first stage of such a process would be an exchange of ambassadors.
In 2010, the previously warm relationship between Israel and Turkey deteriorated and diplomatic relations were stopped after the deaths of nine Turkish citizens aboard the Navi Marmara ship trying to break the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paved the way for reconciliation by issuing an apology at the behest of US President Obama. It was widely reported in February that a senior Turkish delegation visited Israel and had made significant progress in agreeing a compensation deal for the families of those killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, paving the way for a rapprochement.
(Photo of Erdogan: EC Audiovisual Service)