Netanyahu: We don't want crisis with Turkey

PM says Israel would like to see relations with Ankara improve; states Israel can only follow its values during "tempestuous times."

September 7, 2011 20:12
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu open mouth 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Yin Dongxun)


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Israel is not interested in a crisis with Turkey and would like to see relations between the two countries improve, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

"[The crisis] was not something we chose, and we don't choose it now," Netanyahu said, speaking at a naval officer graduation ceremony.

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"We respect the Turkish people and their legacy. We support improving relations," he stated.

The premier added that the naval officers were graduating at a "turbulent and tempestuous time," as the region goes through violent and extreme changes. "A thick fog has descended on the Middle East," Netanyahu said, adding that all Israel can do is to act according to its standards and values. "The knowledge that our path is just is Israel's greatest asset."

The prime minister also spoke briefly on the situation with the Palestinians, and the Palestinian Authority's intent to appeal to the UN for state recognition. Netanyahu insisted that Israel was interested in negotiations.

"Dozens of [world] leaders offered to me to serve as hosts for talks, and I agreed," he said. "The place is not important. It's important to start and to finish," he said.

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