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.
IDF soldiers clearly stated that the political echelon sent them.
There is no room for apologies or Israeli concessions.
We are in favor of improving relations with Turkey.
But I don't think it should be at Israel's expense alone.
We are not willing to receive edicts.
It is in the interest of both countries to repair their relations,
to go back to the way things were.
We are ready, and the ball is in Turkey's court.
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."RELATED:Turkey will not forget 9 killed in flotilla, says
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itTalk tough with Turkey
"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.