By Earnest Jones  |  02-02-2017   News
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Israel and Turkey have both held their first political consultations in seven years after the two sides reached an agreement to normalize their ties in June 2016. Umit Yalcin who is the Turkish Foreign Undersecretary and his counter part Yuval Rotem, held a meeting in Ankara on Wednesday to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments.

In a report issued by the Israeli media last month, Ankara and Tel Aviv were drafting a road map to promote their co-operation in different areas. The reports indicate that the two sides were expected to upgrade a free trade agreement and the lifting of visa procedures.

The other key issues on the agenda included the crisis in Syria, where the two countries have long been supporting the Takfiri militants that operate against the Damascus government. Sometime last June, Tel Aviv and Ankara struck an agreement that seeks to restore bilateral diplomatic ties that had been severed over a raid that was conducted by the Israeli commando claiming 10 Gaza Strip-bound Turkish humanitarian aid workers back in 2010.

Turkey has already appointed an envoy to Israel while Israel is drafting roadmap for closer ties. Ankara initially reacted with fury as it suspended its military ties with Israel and expelled the Israeli envoy from Ankara over Tel Aviv’s refusal to apologize for the killings.

As pointed out in the agreement, it’s evident that Ankara settled for just an apology and compensations to the victims of the incident, Turkey also promised not to hold Israeli individuals liable for the assault, they also backed down from the earlier demands that Tel Aviv lift its siege of Gaza.

There was also a ruling by a court in Turkey that dropped the litigation against four Israeli military officials sought by complainants concerning the attack. Arrest warrants were also waived by the court against the Israelis, Gabi Ashkenazi, the regime’s former military chief of staff was also among the Israelis.

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