Israel willing to restore ties with Turkey


Speaking to a group of Turkish journalists on Monday in Jerusalem, Pinhas Avivi, former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, who currently serves as the political director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said Israel seeks to hold talks with Turkey regarding the Syrian crisis, noting that the situation in Syria will have an impact on the future of Turkey as well as Israel. In reference to Ankara's demands of an official apology and compensation for the families of Turkish victims who were killed by Israeli commandos in 2010 on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to Gaza, as well as the lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, Avivi said, "Both countries have made mistakes. But, hereafter we should sit at the table without preconditions and strive to find solutions." Avivi added that officials of the two countries must launch a mechanism for cooperation on the Syrian crisis instead of delivering harsh messages to each other through the media, describing the crisis between Israel and Turkey as "artificial." Avivi also indicated that Turkey's conditions for an apology and compensation to restore ties could be met.