12/07/2010, 00.00
ISRAEL-TURKEY
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Ankara and Jerusalem, attempt "fire diplomacy "

Turkey’s contribution to rescue operations against the fire of Mount Caramel an opportunity to overcome barriers between the two countries, created after the attack on the "Gaza flotilla." Talks in Geneva, but difficulties remain.

Ankara (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Turkey and Israel's attempt to resume normal bilateral relations has been termed the "fire diplomacy".  Ties were ruptured after the attack carried out in May by the Israeli military against the flotilla that attempted to break the blockade of Gaza, which killed nine Turkish nationals.

Jerusalem’s official thanks to Ankara for their help against the fire on Mount Caramel - two aircraft (pictured) - could in fact be an opportunity to overcome the barrier erected by the attack of May 31.

Today, the Turkish newspaper Hurryet reports as much quoting internal diplomatic sources after a meeting yesterday in Geneva between Turkey’s undersecretary to foreign affairs, Feridun Sinirlioglu, and the Israeli representative to the UN, Yosef Ciechanover. The meeting took place after a phone call last Friday from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed by the same Israeli Prime Minister who stated that "the Turkish help was a very blessed act. I know that Prime Minister Erdogan decided personally. Israel will find a way to express its gratitude. " Turkish diplomatic sources quoted by the newspaper expressed optimism on the prospects of the "fire diplomacy”, but the problem is not a simple one. Turkey has sought and continues to demand that Israel "apologizes and compensate the victims - dead and wounded –of  the attack. Yet on Monday, the Turkish president Abdullah Gul reiterated that "our expectations for normalization are known."

The men involved in the negotiations, according to Haaretz,  submitted their proposals to their respective prime ministers and are awaiting instructions. Israel, "in principle", would agree on an apology and compensation, but there are problems both on a legal and political level. In this regard, the Jerusalem Post points out during a press conference, Netanyahu has refused to talk about relations with Turkey, except to say that he "greatly appreciated" the Turkish help for the fire. "I think - he added - that this is very important and I expressed my appreciation along with the hope that it is capable of bringing an improvement in ties. Beyond that, I have nothing to say. "

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