Turkish FM threatens to cut ties

Ankara awaits Israeli admission that flotilla raid was "unjust."

July 5, 2010 10:44
1 minute read.
Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister address

Turkish FM 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Turkey will cut ties with Israel unless Jerusalem issues a formal apology for the deaths of nine Turkish citizens in the raid of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara, AFP reported Monday, citing a statement by the Turkish foreign minister.

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Ahmet Davutoglu reportedly said “relations will be broken” if Jerusalem does not issue an apology or agree to the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the deadly clash between its navy commandos and the activists on board the aid ship aiming to break the blockade on the Strip.

Davutoglu was quoted as saying that Turkey would not permit Israeli military flights in its airspace. He conceded that in the event that an Israeli committee investigated the incident rather than an international one, as Jerusalem demands, Turkey would be content with an admission “that the raid was unjust.”

Last week, reports surfaced that Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had conducted a secret meeting with Davutoglu in Zurich, causing tensions to rise between Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“The foreign minister views very gravely the fact that this was done without informing the Foreign Ministry,” said a statement put out by Lieberman’s office.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement of its own, saying that the failure to inform Lieberman of the meeting was due to “technical” reasons.

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