Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that US State Secretary John Kerry intends to visit this month, in what would be the first trip by a top Western dignitary since a failed putsch.
Kerry’s visit, if confirmed, comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Ankara in the wake of the attempted military takeover on July 15.
“I think their secretary of state is coming on the 21th (August),” Erdogan said on Friday in a live interview with state-run TRT television.
Within the next two weeks, a delegation led by Turkey’s foreign and justice ministers would also travel to the US to explain Gulen’s alleged involvement in the coup bid, he added.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner declined to comment.
Unfortunately Turkish Parliament Approved the Deal with Israel
The Turkish parliament approved a deal to normalise ties with Israel after a delay caused by last month's attempted coup, state-run media reported Saturday.
Lawmakers ratified late Friday the agreement to restore relations between the two former close regional allies after a six-year rift, before parliament was due to go into summer recess.
Under the deal, Israel will pay Turkey $20 million (17.7 million euros) in compensation for a botched Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship in 2010 that left 10 Turks dead, state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Israel will hand Turkey a "lump sum" within 25 working days of the agreement coming into force, the agency said, which families of the victims will receive in due course.I suspect the payout from Israel was the main reason Parliament ratified this deal.
Under the terms of the deal, both sides agreed individual Israeli citizens or those acting on behalf of the Israeli government would not be held liable -- either criminally or financially -- for the raid, Anadolu said.
Israeli cabinet ministers approved the deal with Turkey in late June but Ankara did not send it to parliament because of time pressure following the July 15 attempted putsch by a rogue military faction.
Israel was quick to give its support to the Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup bid, condemning it while repeating its faith in the reconciliation process between the two countries.
Now the deal has been approved, the two countries are expected to begin the process of exchanging ambassadors to fully restore diplomatic ties.
- Policy of reconciliation -
The agreement also involves an easing of the naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip allowing Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians there via Israel's Ashdod port.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously spoken about the economic advantages of improved relations, discussing the possibility of a pipeline to Turkey to export Israeli gas.
The rapprochement between the two countries came after secret talks held in December 2014 with two more rounds in February 2015 in Geneva and April this year in London.
Turkey appears to be willing to return to its previous "zero problems with neighbours" foreign policy after the country also normalised relations with Russia. Relations were damaged after Turkey shot down a Russian jet in November last year.
Earlier this month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his first trip abroad since the coup bid, meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the first time since 2015.
The 'deal' between Turkey and Israel has been discussed in two previous posts--