US asks Turkey for help with ME peace process

Kerry calls Turkish counterpart, asks for Ankara's help in restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace process; Ankara turns down request.

March 16, 2013 13:15
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, March 1, 2013.

US Secretary of State Kerry with Turkish FM Davutoglu. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool)

US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, last week, asking for help in restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Hurriyet daily reported on Saturday.

Turkey turned down the request citing bad relations between Ankara and Jerusalem and saying the responsibility to fix the murky relations between the two countries falls on Israel.

Relations between Jerusalem and what was once its only Muslim ally crumbled after Israel Navy commandos raided the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010 to enforce a blockade of the Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks on board after they attacked the commandos.

“Turkey is always ready to do whatever it needs for a fair two-state solution based on the 1967 borders,” Davutoglu said during a joint press conference with Kerry in Ankara on March 1.

“If Israel wants to hear positive statements from Turkey, it needs to review its attitude. It needs to review its attitude toward us, and it needs to review its attitude toward the people in the region and especially the West Bank settlements issue,” the Turkish foreign minister said.

A Turkish official speaking to Hurriyet has accused Jerusalem of blocking attempts to restore relations with Ankara.

Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Israel to promote the peace process shortly after US President Barack Obama finishes his visit to Israel on Friday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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