Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkish FM: Crisis with Israel over; Deputy PM: Our ties with Israel must improve

(Ynet, API, Haaretz).The crisis in the relations between Turkey and Israel has ended, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday evening after meeting Israeli Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in Ankara.

"There has always been an open channel of communication between the countries, and therefore there is no need for a new beginning," said Davutoglu, "We are willing to resume our role as mediators between Israel and Syria."

As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Turkish FM called on the sides to "launch a new era."

The Turkish deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, said on Monday that Turkey-Israel relations must improve:"The diplomatic relations between the two countries have known ups and downs, but they must stabilize," said Arinc, adding that the ties must improve with regard to "every issue."

Ben-Eliezer said in response that Israel and Turkey must remain strategic allies and that the Israeli people want the relations to continue.

"The Israeli people want to return to good relations with Turkey," the minister said. He added that in was in the two countries' mutual interests to strengthen the relations.