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Israel Apologizes to Turkey Over Diplomatic Row


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formally apologized to Turkey for insulting its ambassador.

A statement from Mr. Netanyahu's office Wednesday expressed hope the move would end a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul had threatened to recall the country's envoy unless Israel delivered a formal apology by Wednesday.

The dispute stems from a meeting between Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, and Turkish Ambassador, Ahmed Oguz Celikkol.

The Israeli diplomat met with Celikkol Monday to complain about the way a Turkish television series was depicting Israeli security forces. During that meeting, Ayalon told photographers to note that the ambassador had been given a lower seat and that Ayalon had refused to shake his hand.

Ayalon described his own behavior as "inappropriate" during a televised statement Wednesday, but he did not apologize for his actions.

The dispute unfolded ahead of talks in Turkey Sunday between senior officials there and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP..

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