First Israeli minister visits Turkey since 2010

First Israeli minister visits Turkey since 2010
Thu Dec 5, 2013 14:23:56

Israeli regime’s Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz has traveled to Istanbul, becoming the first Israeli minister to visit Turkey since ties ruptured in 2010 over a deadly raid by Israeli forces on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

The Israeli minister arrived in Turkey on Thursday and is set to participate in a UN conference on pollution in the Mediterranean Sea in Istanbul.

Relations between the Israeli regime and Turkey soured in 2010, when Israeli commandos attacked the first Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, killing nine Turkish activists on board the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

Ankara demanded a formal apology and compensation for the families of the victims.

In March 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had apologized on behalf of the Tel Aviv regime for the fatal raid during a phone call with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Israeli apology was brokered by US President Barack Obama during his visit to Israel.

Turkish and Israeli delegations later held talks to discuss the terms of a compensation agreement and Turkish officials said there was a deal in principle between the two sides to resolve the matter. However, negotiations seem to have halted.

Turkish media reports suggest that the Israeli regime might not accept to pay as much as one million dollars (around 800,000 euros) in damages for each Turkish victim.

In August, Erdogan accused Israel of involvement in the Egypt military's overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, one of just two Arab countries that have a peace treaty with Israel.


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