Turkey's demand that Israel apologize for its raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara last year should not come at the cost of Israel's interests, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday.

"Israel has no reason to apologize to Turkey. Improving relations with Turkey is in the interests of both countries, but this should not come only at the cost of Israeli interests," Lieberman said.



He added that even if there is a "difference of opinions" within the government regarding an apology to Turkey, "Israel Beiteinu will not resign from the government."

Also commenting on relations with Turkey ahead of the expected release this week of the Palmer report investigating the Marmara raid, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday, "Ultimately we all understand our duty to protect Israel's honor and justice, and we have instructions from above to protect officers, commanders and soldiers from the possibility of facing lawsuits abroad."

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"Within this reality, we have to consider our own way of doing things."


Barak also commented on the Palestinian statehood bid in September, saying "there will be a difficult discussion during the [UN General] Assembly when the Palestinians try to pass a resolution" in recognition of unilateral Palestinian statehood.

"We need to examine every possible way so that we avoid running into that conflict during the General Assembly," he said.

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