FM: Turkey can't keep slamming Israel

In Baku, Lieberman says J'lem has backed relations with Ankara for 10 years.

By BY JPOST.COM STAFF
February 9, 2010 12:57
1 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

lieberman threatening 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday leveled criticism at Turkey for what he called "weekly" condemnations of Israel.

Speaking during a visit to Azerbaijan's capital Baku, Lieberman said that Israel had been "supporting close relations with Turkey for 10 years." He said that the recent change in Ankara's stance, since Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, was "unexpected."

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Turkey can't keep repeating this "sharp anti-Israel line" every week, the foreign minister told an Azerbaijani television station.

Nonetheless, he said, Israel is doing everything in its power to maintain ties and coordinate closely with Turkey.

"We hope Turkey will make certain amendments to its foreign policy," he added.

Lieberman's comments came some two weeks after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Israel “should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future,” in an interview with the Euronews channel.

“We have important ongoing agreements between us. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbors if it believes it is a world power,” Erdoğan said in the interview.

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The Turkish premier said that the humiliation of Turkish Ambassador to Israel Oguz Celikkol by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon had “no place in international politics.”

Earlier in January, Aylaon called Celikkol in for a public dressing down over a Turkish television show that depicted Mossad agents as baby snatchers. At that meeting, Ayalon instructed the camera crews, in Hebrew and in the ambassador's presence, not to film them shaking hands, to show that the Turkish envoy was sitting on a lower sofa, to show that there was only an Israeli flag on the table and not to film them smiling.

When asked by Euronews if Turkey could have handled relations with Israel more diplomatically, Ergodan answered that “I am telling the truth…And I will keep telling the truth.”

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