Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan Friday.
Initial reports are that during the course of the conversation Netanyahu apologized for the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident that left several Turkish nationals dead. Erdogan reportedly accepted the apology and agreed there was a need for the two countries to normalize relations.
The conversation was precipitated by U.S. president Barack Obama. In a statement released by the White House only minutes after Obama departed Israel for Jordan the president relayed his hope that the conversation would prove fruitful: “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,” he added.
This marks the first time the two leaders have spoken since 2010. The frayed relationship was again in the headlines recently when Erdogan referred to Zionism as a “crime against humanity.” He later claimed that the comments were taken out of context.