Israel, Turkey reach deal to restore relations: Israeli source

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office on June 26, 2016.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office on June 26, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel and Turkey reached a deal on Sunday (June 26) aimed at ending years of acrimony and restoring normalised ties that soured after a deadly 2010 raid on an aid flotilla, an Israeli official said.

Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, the official said the agreement had been finalised but that details would not be officially announced until Monday (June 27).

Negotiations were said to have been held in Rome, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday.

The agreement was expected to go before Israel's security cabinet for approval on Wednesday.

 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is expected to talk about the Israel reconciliation deal at 1.00 pm (1000 GMT) in Ankara on Monday, a Turkish official said.

The Turkish official confirmed that "the prime minister will talk about the contents of the Turkey-Israel agreement at tomorrow's press conference." The highly anticipated deal comes six years after an Israeli raid that killed 10 Turkish activists as an aid flotilla sought to run the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Both sides have been pushing to complete the deal in recent months, with Israel in search of a potential customer for its offshore gas exports and Nato member Turkey wanting to restore its regional clout, analysts say.

The United States has also pushed for the two countries to resolve the dispute as it seeks cooperation in the fight against extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.