Turkey ends diplomatic row with Israel, sends envoy

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Jerusalem, Dec 12 (IANS) Signifying end to years of diplomatic strife between the two countries, Turkey’s new envoy submitted his credentials to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin on Monday.

The ceremony, at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, marked the first time Turkey sent an envoy to Israel in six years, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mekin Mustafa Kemal Okem, accompanied by his wife and two children, told Rivlin that it is indeed a new beginning in bilateral relations and “a resumption of the ties” between our countries.

He said he was eager to “explore every possible aspect of cooperation” with Israel.

Calling this a “historic moment”, Rivlin offered his condolences to the Turkish people in the wake of Saturday’s deadly bomb attack which killed at least 44 people.

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“The friendship between our countries had a rich history and I hope that the reconciliation and the new appointments will turn a new leaf and secure our relations,” Rivlin said.

The move came after Israel sent its ambassador to Ankara, as part of a reconciliation agreement signed between Israel and Turkey in June.

The deal ended six years of tensions over the fatal Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla in 2010.



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