Israeli President Shimon Peres phoned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to assure him of Israel's desire to maintain close ties with its Muslim ally, an aide to Erdogan said.
The call followed a decision on Tuesday by a prominent US Jewish group, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to term as so-called "genocide" of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, a label Ankara fiercely rejects.
"Peres emphasized the importance Israel places on relations with Turkey," Erdogan's aide told AFP. "It was a very fruitful discussion."
On Wednesday, the Israeli embassy here said the Jewish state acknowledges the "horrible events" and the "terrible suffering" the Armenians endured, but urged Jews not to take sides.
"Israel, therefore, asks that neither one side nor the other be taken and that no definitions be made of what happened. We hope that both sides will enter into an open dialogue which will enable them to heal the wounds," it said.
Turkey has been Israel's main regional ally since 1996 when the two signed a military cooperation deal, much to the anger of Arab countries and Iran.
But the US-led war in Iraq and Israel's relations with the Palestinians have led to a rise in anti-US and anti-Israeli sentiment in the Turkish public opinion.
Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 10:18