Turkey moves to rebuild regional relations

TURKEY has moved to rebuild relations with two of its most powerful rivals in the region.

The Turkish Government announced yesterday it was restoring diplomatic ties with Israel after a six-year break.

Separately, Turkey said it regretted shooting down a Russian fighter jet last year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the deal with Israel would lead to increased trade between them.

Mr Erdogan also sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a letter expressing "sympathy and deep condolences" to the family of the pilot killed when Turkey shot down the plane.

According to a Russian spokesman, Mr Erdogan "asked to be forgiven" and said he wanted to restore relations with Russia.

Turkey had insisted the Russian plane was shot down only after it flew into Turkey's airspace in November.



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