US President Barack Obama 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young)
US President Barack Obama will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week and will urge him to repair relations with Israel, the White House said on Friday.
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White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes told reporters that Obama also anticipated a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the Monday to Wednesday UN gathering.
Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and halted defense-related
trade after Jerusalem confirmed last week it would not apologize
for the raid on the Mavi Marmara
, in which nine Turks were killed by IDF
soldiers when the ship attempted to break Israel's blockade on Gaza.
Turkey and Israel had tried to mend fences before the publication two
weeks ago of a UN report that deemed the blockade of the Hamas-ruled
Gaza Strip a legal means to stem the flow of arms to Palestinians but
also said Israel had used unreasonable force.
Ankara said it was prepared to escort any future Gaza-bound ship with naval vessels.
Erdoğan said on Thursday Israel could not do whatever it wanted in the
Eastern Mediterranean and that Turkish warships could be there at any
Erdogan's comments, made during a visit to Tunisia as part of a tour of
Arab countries, were the latest in a war of words between the two