March 23, 2013 - 11:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey's basic demands have been met, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said March 22 after receiving Israeli Prime Minister’s apology for the 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, Davutoğlu said Israel's apology to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara raid was the result of arduous negotiations that lasted three years.
"What appears to you as a surprise is an effort that has been pursued and forged gradually for three years," Davutoğlu said, noting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's key role in reaching an agreement on a joint apology text between the two parties following his visit to Ankara on March 1.
"When Kerry visited Turkey we talked about these matters very openly. We voiced our three demands [apology, compensation and lifting of the Gaza blockade] if Turkey's contribution to the peace process in the Middle East and the normalization of ties with Israel was wanted. I spoke with Kerry six times over the last week. We talked about the negotiations on the texts [of the apology]," he said.
Davutoğlu noted that during the last week Turkey had only been in contact with U.S. officials, who mediated the final agreement before U.S. President Barack Obama's Israel visit. "We agreed that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu would call the Turkish PM accompanied by President Obama. Each word of the agreement has been studied. We worked on it until the morning and at noon we got a clearer picture."