Turkey, Israel to appoint ambassadors in days

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Demonstrators chant slogans during a rally on May 28, 2016 in Istanbul, to mark the 6th anniversary of 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, when Israeli naval commandos seized control of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, part of a flottila attempting to break the Gaza blocade, and resulting in the death of ten Turkish individuals. The crowd gathered in iconic istiklal avenue under the banner of the pro-Islamic Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), one of the organisers of the flotilla that tried to break an Israeli sea blockade of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

İbrahim Kalın, a spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said on Thursday that Turkey and Israel would appoint ambassadors to their respective embassies within 10 days.

“I will not mention the name of the ambassador, but I can say that the process has been completed. The Foreign Ministry will issue a statement in due time. I think the mutual appointment process will be completed in a week to 10 days,” Kalın said during a press conference on Thursday.

Kalın’s statement came as Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz is paying the first ministerial visit in six years to Turkey this week. Yuval met with his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, on Thursday.

The ties between Turkey and Israel had been tense since 2010, when the Israeli navy killed nine Turkish and one Turkish-American pro-Palestinian activists who were part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza to deliver aid.

Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade.

Turkey and Israel normalized relations in August after the Turkish Parliament approved a deal in June for Israel to pay $20 million in compensation to victims on board the Mavi Marmara.

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