Israel and Turkey Announce Agreement to Restore Diplomatic Ties

Israel and Turkey Announce Agreement to Restore Diplomatic Ties

J. Dana Stuster, Foreign Policy 

27 June 2016 

Image: Israel and Turkey Announce Agreement to Restore Diplomatic Ties, Foreign Policy 

Israel and Turkey formally announced an agreement to normalize diplomatic relations today. The agreement, which was finalized yesterday and has been hinted at by diplomats for weeks, will renew official diplomatic ties, including the exchange of embassies. The feud between Israel and Turkey began six years ago when Israeli troops killed 10 people as they boarded the Mavi Marmara, a ship launched from Turkey by pro-Palestinian activists to break the blockade of Gaza. The Israeli government has since apologized for the incident and Israeli-Turkish ties have been improving since a conciliatory phone call in 2013. Under the agreement, Israel will pay $20 million to the families of the activists killed on the Mavi Marmara. Though Turkey had stressed that the lifting of the Gaza blockade was a necessary condition for restoring ties, the blockade will remain in place but Turkey will be allowed to deliver humanitarian aid through the neighboring Israeli port of Ashdod. The timing of the agreement creates opportunities for “lucrative Mediterranean gas deals,” Reuters reports.

© 2016, Foreign Policy 

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