TURKISH, ISRAELI OFFICIALS DISCUSS NORMALIZATION OF TIES

ANKARA, -- The Turkish and Israeli negotiating teams met in London on Thursday to discuss normalization of ties between the two countries.

Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu led the Turkish side while Israel's was headed by Prime Minister's Special Envoy Joseph Ciechanover and Acting Chairman of the National Security Council Gen. Jacob Nagel.

"The two 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," according to a statement by the Turkish Ministry.

The bilateral ties soured gravely after Israeli Naval Forces boarded the Turkish MV Mavi Marmara in the small hours of May 31, 2010, while in international waters as part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and killed dozens of human rights activists.

Thought Tel Aviv offered an official apology, Ankara insists that Israel must pay compensations to the families of the victims and lift the unfair embargo on Gaza Strip as a condition for normalizing the ties.

Source: Name News Network