Turkey-Israel peace as harbinger of stabilization in Middle East?
Trend Arabic News Service commentator Aygul Taghiyeva
A very important event for the region and the world at large has taken place recently in the Middle East - Turkey and Israel have agreed to normalize relations. As reported by the Israeli side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, has apologized for the deaths of nine Turkish nationals during the operation to block the "Freedom Flotilla."
The Netanyahu government, which, after much persuasion of the U.S., has agreed to make concessions to Turkey, surely made the right decision in order not to miss the chance to establish a relationship with an important player in the Middle East arena - Ankara.
This event was seen by the world political community as a positive factor for the region. Indeed, it's been about three years that Israel and Turkey broke off all diplomatic, economic and military relations.
The restoration of relations between the two countries will boost economic ties in the first place. Thus, over the years of tense relations, trade turnover between the two countries has decreased from almost $4 billion in 2009 to $3 billion in 2012.
Following the normalization of relations, the projects in the field of economy and energy suspended in 2010 will be restored as well. This is particularly important in terms of lifting the economies of these countries, which, in one way or another, have suffered from the processes in the Middle East.
Another important factor is that, along with tendering apologies and agreeing on compensations to the families of victims, Israel has also agreed to the heaviest of the conditions of Ankara - to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, Israel has repeatedly been called for by the international community, considers provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as the free movement of people and, of course, products.
In fact, lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip could mark an important step forward in the peace talks between Palestine and Israel. Perhaps the next step in the normalization of Israeli-Turkish relations will be the start of negotiations between conflicting for nearly a century Israel and Palestine.
Thus, Turkey, which has already established itself as a trusted third party to resolve the conflict, may become an important element in promoting Israeli-Palestinian relations.
In any case, the restoration of relations between the two most powerful countries in the region and their continued collaboration will become a harbinger of positive changes in the region, experiencing one of the most turbulent periods in its history.