Report: Turkey Seeking Israeli Weaponry in Reconciliation Talks

YERUSHALAYIM -
In the latest of a long series of unofficial reports on the near-to-conclusion Israel-Turkey reconciliation talks, Turkey is conditioning an agreement on the procurement of Israeli weaponry, according to the Kuwaiti-based publication al-Jarida.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz reportedly sent a special envoy on Tuesday to meet with Israeli defense officials to negotiate an arms purchase, as a quid pro quo for normalization of relations.

However, as has been the case with all prior reports on the progress of the talks, obstacles remain to be worked out.

Israel has demanded to know whether the weapons requested will be turned on the Kurdish rebels positioned on the Turkish-Syrian border, according to the report.

The Turkish government responded that the weapons sales, including unmanned aerial vehicles, were part of a wider framework agreement in which the two countries would normalize relations, according to al-Jardia, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

Other outstanding issues have also yet to be resolved, such as whether Ankara will honor previous agreements to buy natural gas from Israel.

In response to reports that Turkey and Israel were close to rapprochement, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said earlier this week that it was difficult to proceed in negotiations if Turkey continues to support the terrorist organizations Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.