Turkey sets new terms for Israeli ties

In probably the first direct contact since the Israel’s deadly attack on Gaza-bound flotilla, Turkey puts forth fresh conditions for improved ties with Israel.

Details of the Wednesday meeting were not announced, but Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin said that the country’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated the previous condition that Israel must first apologize for the vicious attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed eight Turkish activists and a Turkish-American.

On May 31, the Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, killing nine Turkish activists aboard the Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmara. Dozens of passengers also suffered injuries during the assault and many reportedly had their belongings stolen by Israeli commandos.

The Turkish foreign minister met Israel’s Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in Brussels in an attempt to mend rapidly-deteriorating ties. The meeting was supposedly held in secret, but it was made public after an Israeli TV station broke the news of the meeting on Thursday.

Davutoglu “once again relayed the steps that Tel Aviv needs to take relations further,” said Ozugergin, quoted by the Associated Press.

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