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Turkey deal ‘immense’ for Israeli economy says Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office on June 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Dan Balilty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office on June 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Dan Balilty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Monday that Israel has agreed a deal to thaw relations with Turkey and said it would be a huge boost for the economy.

Speaking in Rome after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Netanyahu told reporters: “I think it’s an important step here to normalise relations.”

Earier, an Israeli official had said Israel and Turkey reached a deal on Sunday to normalise ties that soured in 2010 after a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship heading to Gaza.

Both sides have been seeking a deal in recent months, with Israel in search of a potential customer for its offshore gas exports and Turkey wanting to restore its regional clout.

Netanyahu said he would lay out the deal in detail later in the day, but said it “has immense implications for the Israeli economy, and I use that word advisedly”.

“And I mean positive, immense implications,” he said.

Kerry also hailed the deal as a “positive step”.



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