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    Turkey, Israel in secret talks for swift end to diplomatic crisis - report

    Hurriyet Daily News Online
    05.03.2009 - 11:18 | Son Güncelleme:

    Israel and Turkey have been involved in quiet but intensive talks to end the "crisis" between the two countries, Haaretz daily reported on Thursday.

    Officials from both countries have exchanged messages regarding "the need to restore relations to an even keel and hope to do so in the coming days," a senior Jerusalem source told the daily.  


    Ankara's harsh criticism against Israel’s military operations and the angry exchange of words between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres have strained ties between the two traditional and historic regional allies.


    In the latest incident, Ground Forces Commander Avi Mizrahi said in February that Erdogan "should first look in the mirror", and accused Turkey of "committing a massacre of Armenians, as well as suppression of the Kurds".


    The senior government official told Haaretz that the positive messages have intensified after Israel wrote to the Turkish prime minister's office and the Turkish military telling that Mizrahi had been reprimanded for criticizing Erdogan during a lecture.


    The exchanged messages followed a letter sent by Turkish President Abdullah Gul to his Israeli counterpart Peres a few weeks ago, in which he expressed the desire to visit Israel in the coming months.


    Gul, who postponed a planned regional visit in January that included Israel because of an ear complaint, is expected to be in the Jewish state during the second half of the year.

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