ANKARA: Turkish and Israeli officials will meet today in Israel for another round of talks over compensation for a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a diplomatic source said.
“The second round of negotiations will be held in Israel tomorrow,” the source said yesterday, without elaborating.
An initial meeting was held in Ankara on April 22 to discuss the amount and the terms of the payment for the compensation by Israel, which Turkey has named as a precondition for normalisation of diplomatic ties.
That meeting was the first stage of what Turkish officials have said would be a multi-step diplomatic process that could finally reinstate bilateral ties between the former allies.
Today’s talks will see Turkish diplomats officially visit Israel for the first time in three years since Israeli commandos staged a botched pre-dawn raid on an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turkish nationals.
An Israeli official said the Israeli side would be led by national security adviser Yaakov Amidror and special liason for Turkish reconciliation Joseph Ciechanover.
“The two teams will discuss moving forward towards full normalisation of relations,” he said, without providing any further details. Following the first round of talks, Ankara had said “initial parameters” were set and a framework was established, but the amount was still to be discussed.
The maritime assault severely wrecked relations between the regional allies, with Ankara demanding a formal apology and compensation for the families of the raid victims, as well as the lifting of an Israeli blockade on Gaza.
Compensation talks finally began in late March, after Israel extended a formal apology to Turkey to get the rocky relations back on track. AFP