Istanbul, 28 Jumadil Awal/8 April 2013 (MINA) – US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Turkey to restore full diplomatic relations with Israel without delay and exchange ambassadors.
Kerry told a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Sunday that Washington wants Ankara-Tel Aviv relations to “get back on track in their full measure” since they are both vital allies of the US in the region.
The top US diplomat also called on Ankara to speed up work on changing government in Syria, adding that Washington and Ankara will continue to work together to find a peaceful and speedy transition in Syria.
According to Press TV report as quted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Kerry also met with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara agreed to restore relations with Tel Aviv on March 22 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey for the deaths of nine Turkish activists in an Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound international flotilla in 2010. Israel also agreed to pay compensation to the families of those who were killed by Israeli commandos.
The apology was brokered by US President Barack Obama during his visit to Israel and ended a nearly three-year rift between Israel and Turkey. But the two sides have yet to exchange ambassadors and fully restore diplomatic ties.
After Turkey, Kerry is due to visit Israel and the West Bank. (T/P05/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)