Turkey and Israel are on the verge of dramatically reviving their ties after years of frosty relationship. As part of the preliminary agreement, which delegates struck at a secret meeting in Switzerland, ambassadors of both the countries are set to return.
The Israeli side was led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy Joseph Ciechanover and national security adviser Yossi Cohen while Ankara's delegation was spearheaded by foreign ministry's top diplomat Feridun Sinirlioglu.
Following the revelations, both the sides have formally acknowledged that the reconciliation talks are ongoing but denied reaching any agreement. Talks kicked off in Zurich days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed willingness to normalise ties with Israel amid Ankara's strained relationship with Moscow.
As part of the preliminary agreement, Israel has agreed to pay $20m (£13.4m) to the victims of 2010 maritime clashes. Ten Turks abroad Gaza-bound activist ship Mavi Marmara were killed after skirmishes erupted between the Turkish flotilla and Israeli navy in the Mediterranean when the latter attempted to block the fleet. The crisis has precipitated the relationship between the two countries since then. Ankara has also reportedly agreed to cancel all the charges against Israel under the latest deal.
"Erdogan is on record as predicating the normalisation of relations with Israel on a total lifting of the blockage on Gaza. There are ideas but no solution to the issue as yet. It's not simple," a senior official who is aware of the talks told Israeli daily Haaretz. The two parties are also expected to kick-start discussions on a gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey shortly, if the talks go ahead unhindered.
In 2013, Netanyahu expressed regret over the Turkish flotilla incident but the proposed talks were stalled despite meditating efforts made by US President Barack Obama.