Turkey's apparent shift in orientation away from Europe and its values towards greater cooperation with Islamist leaders and countries in the Middle East is being cautiously watched by the US, Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated on Wednesday.RELATED:
"The deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and Israel over the past year or so is a matter of concern," Gates was quoted by Reuters as telling reporters in London.
Turkey expands economics ties with the East
Erdogan: Israel must pay price
"I think the two had a pretty constructive relationship and one that contributed to stability in the region, and I hope that, over time, that kind of constructive relationship can be reestablished," Gates reportedly said.
Turkey, which had a solid alliance with Israel until the three-week Gaza
war that ended in early 2009, said it would reduce military and trade
ties and shelved discussions of energy projects, including natural gas
and fresh water shipments. It threatened to break ties unless Israel
apologizes for the Mavi Marmara
"We are evaluating everything. It is up to Israel how our ties will
continue," Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu said on Monday. "Israel
has to accept the consequences of its actions and be held accountable."
Gates also told the reporters at
the same London meeting
that UN Security Council would likely pass a
tougher Iran sanctions measure today, paving the way for additional
measures against the Iranian nuclear program.