Israel not invited to NATO's Chicago summit

Israel not invited to NATO's Chicago summit

BRUSSELS - The Associated Press
Israel not invited to NATOs Chicago summit

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference in Brussels May 11, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

NATO has announced that Israel will not be invited to its May 20-21 summit in Chicago, but denied that alliance member Turkey blocked Israel's participation.

Instead, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday, the reason is Israel does not participate in NATO's main military missions.

News report have claimed that Turkey blocked Israel's participation because of the raid in 2010 by Israeli troops on aid ships heading to Gaza during which eight Turks and a Turkish-American died.

NATO has a system of partnerships with dozens of nations across the globe such as the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations, including Israel.

Fogh Rasmussen said 13 partners will attend the summit, but only those that have taken part in such NATO military operations.