Turkey, Israel expected to restore ties soon

Turkey's Foreign Ministry says Turkish and Israeli officials have made progress on an agreement to normalize frayed ties and that a deal is expected to be reached soon.

A ministry statement issued early on Friday said officials who met in London on Thursday agreed to finalize the deal during their next meeting "which will be convened very soon."

Israel and Turkey were traditionally close allies, but ties broke down in 2010 over Israeli commandos' deadly storming of a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship. Relations declined further over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's often fiery rhetoric against Israel.

In a sign of a warming, however, the Turkish and Israeli leaders held a telephone conversation last month following a bomb attack in Istanbul that killed Israeli tourists.