The Turkish foreign minister says the parliament will in the near future ratify a recent agreement struck with Tel Aviv to normalize ties following a six-year stalemate brought about by a fatal Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid vessel.
“I think we will finalize this work before the parliament goes into the summer recess,” which starts at the end of next week and ends in mid-September, the state-run Anadolou news agency quoted Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying.
Ankara and Tel Aviv’s once close relations soured after Israeli commandos raided the Freedom Flotilla in international waters of the Mediterranean on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens and injuring about 50 other people. A tenth Turkish national later succumbed to his injuries.
The two sides, however, announced the reconciliation agreement on June 27, after several rounds of negotiations.
An official apology from the Israeli regime, the lifting of Tel Aviv’s blockade on the Gaza Strip and compensation for the families of the Turkish activists killed in the Gaza aid ship incident were among Turkey’s conditions for the restoration of relations.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Cavusoglu said, “Israel has lived up to our conditions. We said ‘if the conditions are fulfilled we’ll normalize ties.’ So we must implement it as soon as possible.”
He further admitted that the Turkish legislature has so far failed to take up the reconciliation deal due to the July 15 failed military coup that has plunged the country into chaos.
If the Turkish parliament approves the deal, Turkey and Israel will begin the process of exchanging ambassadors.
Under the terms of the agreement, the regime is obliged to pay USD 20 million in compensation to the bereaved, but the siege on Gaza remains in place.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
The Tel Aviv regime has waged three wars on the coastal enclave since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,100 others wounded.
By Press TV