Under Obama’s Pressure, Netanyahu Apologizes to Turkey

Two senior administration officials addressed the issue of the phone call held today between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish PM Erdogan.

Netanyahu apologized for the Mavi Mamara flotilla incident and acknowledged “operational mistakes,” said one official. Erdogan accepted the apology, according to this official.

The other SAO called this a “first step” toward normalization of relations between the two countries. They said this had been the subject of talks between Obama and Netanyahu in Jerusalem this week.

The call took place in the trailer at the airport just before Obama took off. The leaders talked for about 30 minutes. At some point, Obama got on the phone.

Obama’s response:

I welcome the call today between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Erdogan. The United States deeply values our close partnerships with both Turkey and Israel, and we attach great importance to the restoration of positive relations between them in order to advance regional peace and security. I am hopeful that today’s exchange between the two leaders will enable them to engage in deeper cooperation on this and a range of other challenges and opportunities.

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