Israeli and Turkish delegations are set to meet on Sunday (June 26) to “declare they have reached a deal” to end the six-year-long conflict between the two nations.
The two teams, headed by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and Israeli special envoy Joseph Ciechanover, have been carefully negotiating for months.
But after Sunday’s “declaration,” the agreement will allegedly be finalized, according to a report by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, and then signed in July by Foreign Ministry undersecretaries of both nations.
Ambassadors will be reappointed in both countries and diplomatic relations will be normalized by the end of July, if all goes well, if the document is signed as expected, if there are no hitches and if everything else goes as planned. According to the report, if that takes place, the final obstacles will also be removed from joint military exercises, joint energy investments and joint defense investments.
If all goes according to plan.
All of Turkey’s demands have been met, in the wake of the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident that so angered Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he severed ties with Israel.
Years of talks — and in particular, these past months of negotiations — have led to creative solutions on both sides that allowed for dignity and saving of diplomatic face with Turkey’s demands still able to be met by Israel. It was a delicate task, given Turkey’s insistence on freedom for Gaza, and Israel’s need for security in the face of the Hamas dedication to Israel’s annihilation.
But that does not mean that the current President Erdogan cannot come up with new demands, or reinterpret those that were met — or suddenly reject Israel’s responses.
Should Israel suddenly take action in response to a national security issue that upsets or offends the Turkish president, it is quite possible he may dial back his nation’s agreement to re-establish ties.
Diplomats and officials on both sides are holding their breath.