Turkey utilized its NATO veto power in order to block Israeli participation in the alliance's upcoming Chicago over Jerusalem's refusal to apologize for an IDF raid on a Turkish ship off the coast of Gaza that turned deadly, Turkey's English-language Today's Zaman website reported Monday.
Israel was set attend the alliance's summit on May 20 and 21 in Chicago, but Ankara's veto assures that an Israeli delegation will not attend the meeting, which will host the alliance's new "Partnership Cooperation Menu."
According to the Turkish report, Ankara's move drew criticism from some of NATO's members, who complained that Turkey was confusing the interests of the alliance with a bilateral diplomatic dispute.
Turkish Foreign Minsiter Ahmet Davutoglu shot back at critics, saying Turkey "cannot consider a country which killed Turkish citizens in international waters as a partner," according to Today's Zaman.
"Go and tell Israel to apologize for the incident and to pay compensation for the Turkish citizens whom it massacred." Davutoglu charged, referring to the deadly 2010 IDF raid of the Mavi Marmara, the ship on which activists attempted to sail to Gaza in order to break Israel's naval blockade.
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