It’s Official: Israel, Turkey Announce Rapprochement Deal

A demonstrator burns an Israeli flag as he sits between Turkish (L) and Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel on June 5, 2010 at Caglayan Square in Istanbu

Haaretz reports from Rome: Turkey and Israel have reconciled after a six-year rift, the two nations’ prime ministers announced on Monday at separate press conferences in Rome and Ankara.

The agreement renormalizes diplomatic relations between the two countries and ends the crisis that erupted following the death of nine Turkish civilians during a raid by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza Strip in May 2010.

The rapprochement agreement was initialed by the negotiating teams on Sunday night. For the first time since the negotiations began, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his personal adviser and closest confidante, Ibrahim Kalin, to the final round of talks in Rome, to personally oversee the final stage.

The agreement will formally be signed on Tuesday, in Jerusalem by Dori Gold, the director general of the Foreign Ministry, and in Ankara, by the director general of the foreign ministry there. The signed agreement will be brought before the diplomatic-security cabinet on Wednesday for voting.

Read the full story.