TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel, Turkey to restore diplomacy

AP
President Barack Obama is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Israeli President Shimon Peres watches at left, as Obama prepares to depart from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Friday, March 22.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, March 22, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Israel and Turkey agreed to restore full diplomatic relations on Friday because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized in a phone call for a deadly naval raid against a Gaza-bound international flotilla.

Joint interests between the two countries, including fears that the Syrian civil war could spill over their respective borders, and some cajoling by President Obama made the time ripe to repair the frayed relations after nearly three years of acrimony over the deaths.

It was a surprising turnaround for Netanyahu, who had long rejected calls to apologize.

He announced the breakthrough after a 20-minute phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Obama helped broker the fence-mending while visiting Israel, but the sides had been reaching out to each other before.

“They agreed to restore normalization between Israel and Turkey, including the dispatch of ambassadors and the cancellation of legal steps against Israeli soldiers,” a statement from Netanyahu's office said. Netanyahu “regretted the recent deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey and expressed his commitment to overcoming their differences in order to advance peace and stability in the region,” it said.

The statement stressed that the bloodshed was not intentional and suggested that relatives of those killed would get compensation.

Erdogan's office said: “Our prime minister accepted the apology in the name of the Turkish people.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. 2-month Hong Kong occupation near end
  2. Russian fliers have to get out and push
  3. Ex-host of radio’s ‘Q’ charged with sex assault
  4. Israelis get eyes in sky for Jerusalem patrols
  5. U.N. argues against redactions in torture report
  6. Islamic State got up to $45M in ransom payments
  7. U.S. forces help rescue hostages in Yemen
  8. Teen girls’ suicide bombs rip into Nigerian village marketplace
  9. Amid Ebola cases, Mali braces borders and beyond
  10. Grocer’s holiday ad unnerves Brits
  11. 2 female bombers kill 30 in Nigeria
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.