Senior Israeli Diplomat Arrives In Turkey On Rare Visit to Reconcile Ties

goldA senior Israeli foreign ministry official arrives in Turkey today following a suicide bomb attack in Istanbul that killed two Israeli citizens, the first high-level diplomatic visit of its kind since relations soured in 2010.

It said Dore Gold, general director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was arriving in Istanbul after cutting short a trip to the United States, according to sources at the Israeli embassy in Ankara.

“Gold’s visit will mark the first high-level diplomatic visit from Israel to Turkey since the two countries’ relations were soured by the Mavi Marmara crisis in 2010,” the daily said on its website.

Mavi Marmara was the name of a Turkish ship that was stormed by Israeli forces in May 2010, as it sailed to Gaza to break an Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory. Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the incident, souring relations between Turkey and Israel.

Saturday’s attack in Ankara killed five people, all of them foreigners, in the sixth suicide bombing in Turkey over the past year. Several foreigners were among the 36 wounded.

After visiting wounded Israeli citizens in hospital, Gold will meet with high-level Turkish officials, sources said, without specifying with whom the Israeli diplomat will hold talks.

Gold and his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, met in June and December 2015 to find ways to reconcile ties and to normalize diplomatic relations by appointing respective ambassadors. added

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