Israeli and Turkish officials have been holding US-backed secret direct talks to ease tensions between the two sides, an Israeli official has said.
A source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry and a US official confirmed that direct talks are being held between an Israeli official on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, Ha’aretz reported on Tuesday.
The talks are reportedly being held between the Israeli representative to the UN inquiry committee on last year’s Gaza flotilla, Yosef Ciechanover, and Turkey’s representative on the committee, Ozdem Sanberk.
The relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara have been strained after Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010 attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters to prevent the convoy from breaking the blockade in the Gaza Strip.
In the assault, nine Turkish nationals, including a teenager with Turkish-US dual citizenship, were killed and dozens were injured.
Turkey cut its ties with Israel following the incident and asked Tel Aviv to apologize over the attack and compensate the families of the victims.