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  • » 12/07/2010, 00.00


    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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    See also

    18/12/2015 ISRAEL - TURKEY
    Israel and Turkey sign preliminary agreement to "normalize" relations
    Relations between the two countries plummeted in 2010, following the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, in which 10 Turkish activists were killed. Israel promises to compensate the families of the victims. Ankara will drop the charges and claims against Israel. Agreement on a gas pipeline also signed.

    03/12/2010 ISRAEL
    Fire on Mount Carmel: 40 dead
    A prison bus was engulfed in flames. So far almost 3 000 hectares destroyed. Netanyahu: "An unprecedented disaster." Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey send air tankers and helicopters.

    07/12/2010 ISRAEL
    No one arrested yet for the Mt Carmel blaze, the boy detained yesterday is released today
    After he was taken into custody yesterday, the boy admitted responsibility for the fire but said it was an accident. Today his confession is thrown out because it was obtained under duress. “I regret the loss of life in the fire, but I refuse to let my son pay the price,” the boy’s father said.

    06/12/2010 ISRAEL
    Four-day Mount Carmel fire overpowered
    International assistance is crucial to control fire because of local capacity proves insufficient. The death toll rises to 42 after Haifa police chief Ahuva Tomer dies. She was the first police chief in Israel’s history.

    04/12/2010 ISRAEL
    Al Qaeda claims fire of Mount Caramel
    A group, calling itself "Lions of the mujahideen in Palestine" in an Internet message, claims to have started the fire between Thursday and Friday to avenge the death of some fighters in Gaza. The Israeli authorities deny the fire was caused deliberately. International assistance arrives.

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