Israel says Syria reason for restoring Turkey ties

AP News
Posted: Mar 23, 2013 3:01 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister says concerns over the security of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile were the motivating factor in restoring relations with Turkey.

Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page Saturday that Israel and Turkey, which border Syria, need to communicate with each other over the issue.

The Syrian "crisis" and the possibility that al-Qaida-linked groups could acquire chemical weapons was "the main consideration," in restoring ties, he wrote.

Netanyahu phoned his Turkish counterpart Friday and apologized for a botched raid on a Gaza bound flotilla in 2010 that left eight Turks and one Turkish-American dead. Turkey demanded an apology as a condition for restoring ties.

Netanyahu had until now refused to apologize, saying Israeli soldiers acted in self-defense after being attacked by activists. Relations were tense before the flotilla incident.