Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Israel and Turkey must mend ties to maintain stability in the tumultuous region.
“Turkey and Israel are two important, strong and stable states in this region … We must find ways to restore the relations we once had … it is important, particularly now, for stability in the region in these times,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Similarly, in a rare meeting with Turkish journalists in his Jerusalem office on Monday, Netanyahu stressed the importance of two of the region’s bulwarks to maintain strong relations.
Turkey cut ties with Israel following an incident that occurred in May of 2010 when Israeli marines killed nine Turkish pro-Palestine protesters aboard the Mavi Marmara that was trying to breach the Gaza blockade.
The Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously walked out of the Davos Economic Forum in 2009 in protest of his perception of the disrespectful attitude of Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Israel’s wish for a stable strategic relationship may soon be granted. Both states border the currently-chaotic Syrian border and both have expressed the desire to avoid seeing Syria’s purported chemical weapons fall into “irresponsible hands.”
Turkey has asked for an official apology from Israel regarding the events of May 2010 as well as reparations for the families of the slain Gaza ship’s crew. Israel has repeatedly refused these demands, citing a similar situation between the United States and Pakistan where the US was refusing to apologise.
However, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently made an official apology to the Pakistani Foreign Minister, and this precedent may prompt Israel to reconsider.