Turkish foreign minister rules out any cooperation with Israel
KONYA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey won’t cooperate with Israel unless it apologizes, Davutoğlu says. DAILY NEWS photo
Ankara will not cooperate with Tel Aviv in any international body until it apologizes for the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said yesterday following Turkey’s veto of Israel’s participation at next month’s NATO summit.
The minister made the remarks to reporters in the Central Anatolian province of Konya when asked about yesterday’s Hürriyet Daily News report which said Turkey had recently blocked Israel’s participation at the NATO summit in Chicago.
“It is out of the question for us to be together with Israel in any partnership activity in any international organization, not just NATO. We have already said that we have suspended such cooperation, except for forums such as the United Nations where all countries are members,” Davutoğlu said.
“There are certain conditions to be able to have the opportunity for partnership and cooperation. We believe that Israel has failed to meet those conditions. That’s not something that only concerns NATO,” he said.
The minister said Turkey would not consider Israel to be a country worthy of cooperation unless it “shows its goodwill toward Turkey by fulfilling the basic issues that our government has pointed out.” Ankara has long demanded Tel Aviv apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish aid activists who were killed by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 and compensate the victims’ families.
During a ministerial NATO meeting in Brussels last week, Turkey defied appeals from the United States and other NATO heavyweights and blocked Israel’s participation at NATO’s Chicago summit on May 20-21. The meeting saw pointed exchanges between Davutoğlu and his counterparts, according to diplomatic sources.
Turkey has previously vetoed a number of attempts for closer ties between the alliance and Israel, such as the opening an Israeli office at NATO headquarters and Israel’s participation in the activities of the Mediterranean Dialogue group.