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INTERNATIONAL > Turkey to resume NATO cooperation with Israel

ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse

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Turkey has agreed to drop its ban on cooperating with Israel as a third-country NATO partner, a diplomat said Sunday.

Ankara cut off such cooperation after the Israeli army raided a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010, leaving nine Turks dead.

The decision to renew NATO links came at a December 4 meeting in Brussels of the 28-member alliance on a proposal by its Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the diplomat said.

The ban had "created a lack of confidence among the partners", he said.

However Turkey will maintain its ban on joint military manoeuvres, and Ankara has reserved the right to bar activities with Israel on its own soil.

The agreement comes after NATO agreed early this month to deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles along the Turkish border with Syria.

Turkey's relations with its former ally deteriorated sharply after the raid on the Turkish ship in international waters in the Mediterranean.

Israel has rejected Ankara's demands for an apology and compensation.

December/23/2012

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