Turkey signs deal to normalize ties with Israel: official

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 28, 2016 4:32 AM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey signed a broad deal on Tuesday to restore ties with Israel after a six-year rupture, a Turkish foreign ministry official said, formalizing an agreement announced a day earlier by the prime ministers of the two countries.

The deal with Israel after years of negotiation was a rare rapprochement in the divided Middle East, driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals as well as mutual fears over growing security risks.

Relations between Israel and what was once its principle Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines stormed an activist ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and killed 10 Turks on board.

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu signed the accord for the Turkish side in Ankara.

(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall)