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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Israel, Turkey begin new normalization talks

Top officials from Turkey and Israel have begun new closed-door talks on a deal to normalize ties more than half a decade after relations were downgraded, a report said Thursday.

Delegations led by powerful Turkish foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and Joseph Ciechanover, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Israeli National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel started talks in Geneva late on Wednesday, the Turkish NTVtelevision channel reported.

NATO member Turkey was a key regional ally of Israel until the two countries fell out in 2010 over the infamous Mavi Marmara incident, in which IDF soldiers were forced to open fire to save their lives after being attacked and wounded by Turkish activists armed with knives and metal bars. The ship refused repeated orders to turn back, insisting on trying to breach Israel's legal naval blockade on Gaza. (Read More) (Includes News Video)