Israel, Turkey reportedly holding secret talks to bridge diplomatic rift
Israeli and Turkish officials have been holding secret direct talks to try to solve diplomatic tensions between the two countries, Israeli daily Haaretz reported yesterday, quoting a senior official in Jerusalem. Reporter Barak David said that a source from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and a US official also confirmed the talks, though in Israel the prime minister and foreign minister's aides declined to comment. Haaretz said the secret talks to mend ties are being held between an Israeli official on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Foreign Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, a firm supporter of mending fences with Israel. Turkey is reportedly being represented by seasoned former diplomat Ozdem Sanberk, who now heads the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), with Israel represented by Yosef Ciechanover, a member of a UN Commission investigating last year's deadly Mavi Marmara raid.