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POLITICS > If US apologizes to Pakistan, we'll apologize to Turkey: Israeli FM

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Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman holds a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, not seen, during their meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 20, 2012. Napolitano is on a four-day visit to the region. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman holds a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, not seen, during their meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 20, 2012. Napolitano is on a four-day visit to the region. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israel does not have to apologize for the killing of nine Turkish activists on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 unless the United States apologizes for the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a mistaken drone strike last November, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said during a recent speech.
 
“The Pakistanis asked the U.S. to apologize, and the Americans said, ‘No way.’ So when [the U.S.] comes to us and pressures us to apologize over the Mavi Marmara, because of this or that constraint, sometimes even to best friends you must say, ‘No,’" Lieberman was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post
 
"Otherwise, no one will respect you," he added.
 
The Israeli minister said his country’s stance on the Mavi Marmara had not changed and defined the Israeli use of force as "a legitimate right for self-defense."
 
"We were right," Lieberman said. "And you don't apologize over something right, regardless of the pressure."
 
During a conference in Tel Aviv last week, a top U.S. official underlined the importance of fixing Israeli-Turkish ties and "hinted that Israel should apologize."
 
A NATO cross-border air raid accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26, 2011.

June/05/2012

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