Israeli television station Channel 2 News reported that the meeting in Rome between Israel's National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror and Turkey's Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu was initiated by the Israeli Prime Ministry Office in an effort to formulate terms for easing the rift between the two countries. According to the Channel 2 report however, the talks, which also included former Israeli Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Joseph Ciechanover, were "unsuccessful" and no "breakthrough" was reached.
The report also noted that Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni had sought out a meeting with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu with the same intentions of mending ties however, the Turkish foreign minister refused to see her.
Meanwhile, Israel is feeling pressure to mend the rift prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit next month the report stated, adding that the U.S. President has repeatedly called on both sides to repair relations.
Netanyahu rejects apology offer
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is stated to have proposed writing a letter to his Turkish counterpart İsmet Yılmaz to apologize for "operational mishaps" that transpired during the Mavi Marmara raid, in a form of good gesture before he steps away from the political spotlight, however the suggestion was supposedly shot down by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
An article released in the Israeli daily Haaretz, cites an Israeli Foreign Ministry official as stating that Ehud Barak's suggestion was intended to repair frayed ties in Turkey-Israel relations after the elections, however Netanyahu opposed the proposal. According to the Haaretz article, there was a time when Netanyahu had considered formally apologizing, however when Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman strongly opposed the idea, he backed down for fear the coalition may collapse.
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