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Turkey, Israel Hold Secret Talks To Repair Ties


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (in file photo) reportedly met with Israeli Trade Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer.
Turkish and Israeli ministers have met secretly in Brussels to seek ways to repair ties that were badly damaged after a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Israeli Trade Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer met on June 30 in Brussels.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Burak Ozugergin, told AP that at the meeting Davutoglu "once again relayed the steps that Israel needs to take relations further."

Israel's military radio said the talks were prepared in conjunction with Washington.

It was the first high-level meeting between the two countries since the May 31 Israeli raid on the Turkish ship that left nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists dead.

Immediately after the raid, Turkey recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv, and canceled planned military exercises. It has also denied permission twice to Israeli military aircraft to use its airspace.

Turkey wants Israel to apologize and agree to an international inquiry.

The United States has expressed concern over the deteriorating ties between the two U.S. allies.

compiled from agency reports