Turkey, Israel share common interest in Syria: Netanyahu
REUTERS PhotoIsraeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has sent a conciliatory signal to Turkey, saying the two countries have a common interest in Syria.
“We both have a border with Syria, and I am sure we both want to see a stable and peaceful Syria,” Netanyahu said of Ankara. “That is a common interest. There are other common interests that come to mind. I think it is in our common interest to find a way to be able to stop, to arrest, the slide in our relationship and resume a fruitful dialogue,” he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post
Turkish-Israeli ties nosedived after the Mavi Marmara flotilla raid in 2010, and Turkey is demanding that Israel apologize for the incident, pay compensation to the families of the nine people killed, and lift the blockade of Gaza. Turkey has said it will not accept anything less than an official apology before it mends ties with Israel, dismissing Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s earlier suggestion of issuing a text similar to Washington’s message containing works of regret and sorrow that was released to Islamabad in the wake of a U.S. air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.
Asked whether that was an apology formula currently being considered, Netanyahu replied: “It is one of them.”
Netanyahu would not discuss, however, whether Ankara had backed off from their demand for Israel to lift the naval blockade of Gaza, something few believe this government would ever consider as part of a reconciliation package.
Netanyahu also dismissed as “completely groundless” allegations he is manufacturing a crisis with U.S. President Barack Obama just before the Nov. 6 American election to influence the outcome in favor of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. “It has nothing to do with the American elections, because the Iranian nuclear program doesn’t care about the American political calendar,” the prime minister said.