U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has urged Turkey and Israel to mend their relationship for the good of the Middle East peace process. The comments come after Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador in the latest fallout over last year’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Turkey expelled the envoy and cut military ties Friday over Israel’s refusal to apologise for the raid on May 31, 2010, that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists, further straining a relationship that had been a cornerstone of regional stability.

The dramatic move by Turkey came hours before the release of a U.N. report that called the Israeli raid “excessive and unreasonable.”

The U.N. secretary—general told reporters in Australia on Saturday that their normalised relations “will be very important in addressing all the situations in the Middle East, including the Middle East peace process.”

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