Turkey normalises ties with Israel after 6-year break

Ankara: Turkey on Tuesday normalised its ties with Israel after a six-year hiatus in diplomatic relations. Both the sides on Tuesday signed an agreement in their capital cities Ankara and Tel Aviv, restoring diplomatic relations, and they will soon exchange ambassadors, Xinhua news agency reported. Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and Israel's Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold signed the accord in Ankara and Tel Aviv respectively. Relations between Turkey and Israel had come to a halt after Israeli forces' raid on an aid flotilla that killed 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in May 2010. Attempts to mend ties were initiated in 2015 when delegations from the two sides met for the first time. Negotiations were conducted throughout 2016 until June 26, when the two sides met in Rome and agreed on the latest draft of the agreement. Under the accord, Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the relatives of the Mavi Marmara victims, and Turkey will deliver humanitarian aid and other non-military products to Gaza with a first shipment of 10,000 tons of supplies next Friday.