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Israel, Turkey Formally Announce Reconciliation Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

Israel and Turkey have announced a reconciliation deal to end a bitter six-year rift between the Mideast powers.

In Rome, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on June 27 that the deal would help bring "stability" to the turbulent Middle East.

His Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim, made a simultaneous announcement in Ankara.

Relations between the once-close allies worsened six years ago after an Israeli naval raid killed nine Turks onboard an aid ship trying to breach Israel's blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Under the deal announced on June 27, the two countries will restore full diplomatic relations. Israel will pay $20 million in compensation, and it will allow Turkey to carry out a series of aid projects in Gaza.

Yildirim said the deal "largely" lifted the Israeli blockade, while Netanyahu said the blockade remains in place.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the deal, calling it a "hopeful signal for the stability of the region."

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP