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      Gantz: I Hope We Can Develop Our Relations with Turkey

      “Turkey is an important country with interests that are common to those of Israel,” says IDF Chief of Staff.
      By Arutz Sheva Staff
      First Publish: 4/23/2013, 3:44 AM

      IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
      IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz expressed hope on Monday that Israel and Turkey will be able to rebuild their ties.

      Gantz spoke at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, as National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror took off to Turkey for discussions with the relatives of terror-supporting activists who were killed on board the Mavi Marmara.

      “Turkey is a large and important country with interests that are common to those of Israel,” said Gantz. “The relations are not anywhere close to what they where a few years ago and I am hoping we will be to develop our relationships with Turkey in the foreseeable future.”

      Referring to Iran, Gantz said, "Iran continues to the best of my understanding to take advantage of the ongoing dialogue with it. The sanctions on Iran are having an effect. These efforts are very important. Iran seeks regional hegemony. Its influences have consequences that reach farther than this region.”

      Gantz also addressed the Syrian issue but this time from the Russian angle, referring to Moscow’s support for the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.

      “Iran and Hizbullah are involved up to their necks in the attempt to preserve the axis with Syria and to prepare for the day after Assad’s fall, and strangely there is great Russian support for this with the support of the Assad regime,” he said.