Lieberman: Israel not interested in conflict with Turkey

Foreign minister says he hopes "normalization" of ties with Ankara can be regained, but adds Israel "will not wave a white flag."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 10, 2011 20:56
1 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman [file]

Foreign Minsiter Avigdor Lieberman 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Uriel Sinai)

 
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday said that Israel is not interested in a conflict with Turkey, but is also not ready "to wave a white flag" before Ankara.

Speaking in an interview with Channel 2, Lieberman said that Israel's actions have been and will continue to be guided by international law. The foreign minister added that the Palmer Commission report on the raid of the Mavi Marmara clearly stated that Israel's actions and the blockade of Gaza were legal.

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Lieberman stated that he hoped normalization with Turkey could be regained and that he hopes Turkey will also see such a normalization as being in Ankara's best interest.

The foreign minister confirmed that he would be traveling to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

Lieberman deflected questions about a Friday Yediot Aharonot report that he is planning  a series of retribution measures against Turkey. According to the report, the measures would include a travel advisory warning Israelis, especially those who served in the IDF, against visits to Turkey; strengthening of Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey, including the supply of arms; cooperation with the Armenians, Turkey's historical rivals; and diplomatic warfare against Turkey in the international community.

Following the Yediot Aharonot report, the Prime Minister's Office on Friday put out a statement saying that Israeli policy is now and always was to prevent a deterioration in ties with Turkey and calm down the tensions between the two countries.

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"The prime minister and the government have discussed what to do in the event of an escalation, however a decision will be made only in the event that it is necessary," the statement said. "Israel acted and is acting responsibly and hopes that Turkey will do the same," the statement continued.

Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report

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