UN chief welcomes Turkey-Israel rapprochement
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed plans to normalize diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel following a six-year hiatus.

"I am very happy with the announcement of the deal to normalize relations… This is very important for the stability of the region," Ban told reporters before heading to an official meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Rivlin, for his part, stated: "Israel’s relations with neighboring countries are progressing. I believe that the regional will is to end the conflict with the Palestinians."

"I am happy to see the revival of our ties with Turkey," he added. "I believe we have a long history of cooperation with Turkey and will have a promising future."

Noting that certain Israeli political actors were opposed to a peace deal, Rivlin said: "I can understand the concerns of some Israelis, but as elected leaders, we should handle issues responsibly and in favor of Israel."

"There are no shortcuts in the Middle East. Hatred overcomes hope," he added. "The only hope for progress is direct negotiations."

Last Modified: 2016-06-28 10:20:48
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