After meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binaldi Yildirim in Rome today and signing a reconciliation agreement between the two countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been speaking about the strategic value of the deal in terms of the economy, energy and security.
He said, "This is an agreement of strategic importance for the State of Israel. My responsibility is to worry about national interests by understanding the international arena."
Netanyahu said, "The agreement allows humanitarian treatment for the Gaza strip subject to security arrangements and that's in Israel's interest. In addition, the agreement prevents Hamas terror activities, political and military, on Turkish soil and that includes collecting money."
Netanyahu said that Turkish President Recep Erdogan has instructed the Turkish security agencies to help bring back Israeli who are captive or missing and in the hands of Hamas. The agreement, insists Netanyahu, requires Turkey to help Israel join international organizations in which Turkey is already a member."
Netanyahu continued, "The agreement creates an opening for economic and energy cooperation including the topic of gas, which holds the possibility of strengthening the Israeli economy with vast amounts of capital. The Leviathan field can supply gas needs for Egypt and also for Turkey and from there to Europe."
The agreement signed today ends six years of conflict in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed after clashing with the IDF as they attempted to board the ship, which was trying to break the Gaza blockade.
The reconciliation agreement includes full normalization between Israel and Turkey. Ambassadors will be returned to the two countries, mutual visits, commitments by both countries not to work against each other in international organizations and the end of opposition to cooperation in international agreements. Cooperation will include joint military exercises, and investments in energy and defense.
Under the terms of the new reconciliation agreement, Israel will transfer $20 million for the families of those killed via a Turkish humanitarian fund. In exchange, the Turkish government will cancel the lawsuit filed against the IDF in the Istanbul court.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 27, 2016
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