21 Asian nations: Israel join NPT

Asian security summit participants condemn IDF flotilla raid.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 8, 2010 19:56
1 minute read.
International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Pr

nuclear summit april 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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Turkish President Abdullah Gul released a statement Tuesday from 21 Asian countries meeting at a security summit that said "all member states, except one, expressed their grave concern and condemnation for the actions undertaken by the Israeli Defense Forces."

Gul said 21 of the 22 nations in the grouping, which includes Israel, have also called on the Jewish state to end its blockade of Gaza and to agree to an international investigation of the incident.

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An overwhelming majority of the countries also called for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and for Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and place all of its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Gul said.

Israel managed to block a joint declaration by the group, whose decisions require consensus, that would have condemned the raid, forcing Turkey to issue a separate statement attached to the declaration.

Putin: 'We condemn this act'

Russia's powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin, added Moscow's weight to the calls for an international a probe.

"It has to be investigated specially," Putin said at a news conference in Istanbul with Turkey's prime minister, a fierce critic of Israel since its war in Gaza 18 months ago.



"We condemn this act," Putin said of the raid. "The fact that it was conducted in neutral waters evokes special regret and requires separate consideration."

While Israel and Turkey still have strong military ties, Turkey's government has been building closer alliances over the past year with some of Israel's most bitter enemies, including Iran and Syria.

Turkey unofficially sponsored the flotilla's lead ship, where the violence occurred.

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