Palestine’s Abbas welcomes Turkey-Israel rapprochement

Published 27.06.2016 00:50
Updated 27.06.2016 01:00
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a phone call to his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas early Monday in which he gave the details of the deal between Turkey and Israel to normalize diplomatic relations. Presidential sources said that Abbas welcomed the deal.

Erdoğan also told Abbas that an agreement to develop the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip was reached with Israel.

Both parties have agreed for a closer cooperation on the issue, the sources said.

President Erdoğan also held talks with Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshal last Friday on the rapprochement deal with Israel.

Israel and Turkey on Sunday reached an agreement to normalise ties, a senior Israeli official said, to end a six-year rift over the Israeli navy's killing of 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010.

The Turkish foreign ministry had no immediate comment on the deal but an announcement on the restoration of ties was expected on Monday at 1000 GMT by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Rome, and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in Ankara.

Netanyahu travelled to Rome on Sunday to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli and Turkish officials were also in the Italian capital to finalise the deal.

The once-firm allies had been quietly mending fences in trade and tourism since their leaders held a conciliatory phone call in 2013 and negotiations have intensified over the past six months to clear the way for a mutual return of ambassadors.

The Israeli official said senior foreign ministry diplomats from both countries would separately sign parallel agreements on Tuesday.

The deal could pave the way for Mediterranean gas deals.

Israel, which had already offered apologies - one of Ankara's three conditions for a deal - for its lethal raid on the Mavi Marmara activist ship, agreed to pay out $20 million to the bereaved and injured, the Israeli official said in a briefing to Israeli reporters travelling with Netanyahu.

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