13:32 GMT25 February 2020
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    Turkish and Israeli officials have made a considerable process in normalazing relations: two sides are on the verge of signing reconciliation deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish and Israeli officials have held talks on normalizing relations between the two countries, making progress toward finalizing a reconciliation deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

    "The Turkish and Israeli negotiating teams… met in London today. The teams made progress towards finalizing the agreement and closing the gaps, and agreed that the deal will be finalized in the next meeting which will be convened very soon," the ministry said in a press release published on its website.

    The meeting was headed by Turkish Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, Israeli Prime Minister's Special Envoy Joseph Ciechanover and Israel's Acting Chairman of the National Security Council Gen. Jacob Nagel, the statement added.

    In late March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country is ready to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel during a meeting with US pro-Israel lobby groups. Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his expectations of positive results for the third round of talks on a reconciliation deal between the two countries.

    Relations between Israel and Turkey deteriorated after the Freedom Flotilla incident in 2010, when a convoy of six ships, including one under Turkey's flag, tried to approach the Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid and activists on board. The flotilla was blocked and stormed by Israeli forces, resulting in eight Turkish citizens being killed.

    Turkey responded by expelling the Israeli ambassador from the country, recalling its ambassador from Israel and demanding a formal apology from Israel, as well as compensation for the victims' families.


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