Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that news reports about talks between Turkish and Israeli officials in Swiss city of Geneva were totally "speculative".
The comment comes as reports said, Israel has proposed paying compensation to relatives of Turkish activists it killed during a raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, in exchange for Ankara to give up lawsuits against the Israeli navy on Thursday.
Davutoglu said at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Walid Mualem of Syria about recent news reports on Turkey-Israel relations, "a new era has begun in Turkey-Israel relations after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent aircrafts to Israel to join efforts to extinguish a major forest fire in Hafia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu met with Israeli officials in Geneva since a new atmosphere has emerged for a compromise with Israel."
Turkey and Israel is reportedly near agreement on wording of memo aimed at ending crisis; Erdogan demands Israel say it 'apologizes,' while Israel prefers to use the word 'regrets'.
According to Turkish and Israeli media, Israel wants the expression of sorrow and regret to be "humanitarian" and addressed toward the victims, rather than an official apology to the Turkish government to avoid legal cases. Erdogan, for his part, is demanding that Israel apologize "to the Turkish republic."
Israel also sees the compensation a "humanitarian" gesture, rather than an Israeli admission of legal responsibility for the killings.
The draft offers Turkey some $100,000 each to families of the activists shot dead by Israeli marines during the raid.
"But the news reports about those talks were totally speculative. Turkey's demands are clear and these demands were explained frankly by Prime Minister Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul on every possible occasion," he said.
He also said that amount of compensation to families of the victims of the aid-flotilla raid was not discussed during the talks in Geneva.
Families of Turkish humanitarian aid workers dismissed any Israeli apology as formality and demanded the soldiers be tried for the killings on the Gaza aid ship.
Related news reports:
Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2010, 18:50