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Israel, Turkey to exchange ambassadors after talks


19:34, May 08, 2013

JERUSALEM, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Israel and Turkey would exchange ambassadors once the talks between both delegations over compensations and normalization of relations would end, a source in the foreign ministry told Xinhua on Wednesday.

The two countries' delegations, who met in Jerusalem on Monday and a week earlier in Ankara, reached a draft of an agreement, putting an end to the three-year rift between the countries.

"The talks were good and we are close to an agreement," the source told Xinhua. "There will be an exchange of ambassadors after that," he added.

He added that the agreement's draft is set to be authorized by both countries' parliaments before finalizing the deal.

There is still no knowledge of who will be the ambassador on Israel's behalf to Turkey.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Monday that the meetings between the parties were held in "good atmosphere" and that a final agreement is expected to be signed soon.

The rounds of talks focused on compensation Israel would pay the families of activists killed on the Mavi Marmara flotilla in May 2010.

The vessel, set out to break Israel's blockade on the Hamas- ruled Gaza Strip enclave, was raided by Israeli commando soldiers. Nine Turkish peace activists were killed in the conflict.

The two countries halted cooperation on security, economic and tourism since 2010.

The Israeli delegation was led by National Security Advisor Ya' akov Amidror, and the Turkish side was led by Turkish Foreign Minister Undersecretary Feridum Sinirlioglu.

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