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Israel and Turkey mending their rift?

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Haaretz is reporting that Israel and Turkey have been holding secret talks to try to solve their diplomatic rift and that the negotiations are receiving US support.

Haaretz's Barak Ravid reports that there are a number of reasons behind the current efforts to mend the relationship, which include:

  •  The UN inquiry committee's report on the flotilla is due to be released in the first week of July, and Israel and Turkey want to use the report's release to put the affair behind them and rehabilitate their ties;
  • Prior to the election in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not display flexibility in Turkey's demands on Israel, but now, after winning the election, Erdogan is likely to take a more pragmatic approach; and
  • In light of Syria's violent crackdown and the stream of refugees into Turkey, a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official said: "The situation in Syria creates big problems for both Turkey and Israel, and they have a joint interest in solving the problems between us".

The article also notes Israel and Turkey have that recently made gestures toward each other. The Turkish government called on the IHH, the Hamas-linked Turkish Islamist group which sponsored last year's flotilla, to reconsider taking part in the next Gaza flotilla. On June 17, the IHH said the Mavi Marmara would not take part.

Meanwhile, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu made favorable comments about Turkey following the election last week.


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