Livni receives support from Turkey on Iran

Meets with Turkish FM Gul for first time since Turkey hosted Mashaal.

May 29, 2006 12:32
2 minute read.
Livni receives support from Turkey on Iran

livni gul 298 88. (photo credit: AP)

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, on the last day of a two-day visit to Turkey on Monday, found herself in agreement with Ankara vis- -vis Iran, but with much convincing to do regarding unilateral Israeli steps regarding the Palestinians. There is no difference between Turkish and Israeli positions on how to handle the Iranian issue, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan told The Jerusalem Post. "Turkey supports a policy that what Iran is doing or developing should be transparent and Teheran must convince the international community that it [Iran's nuclear development] is only for peaceful purposes."

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Iran was a central focus of the discussions Livni held in Ankara on Monday with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Yigit Alpogan, secretary-general of the country's powerful National Security Council. Gul, at a press conference following his meeting with Livni, said, "Turkey is completely against the proliferation of nuclear weapons." He said that Turkey encourages "cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and believes that especially countries signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have a responsibility to act with full transparency." Iran is a signatory to the NPT. Alpogan visited Moscow last week and said that while Turkey does not want a neighbor with nuclear weapons on its border, it believes the crisis should be solved diplomatically. While Israel and Turkey appeared to be on the same page regarding Iran, differences emerged as to how best to deal with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Livni, at her press conference, said that Israel "believes in a two-state solution for two peoples: a national home for the Jewish people alongside a national home for all Palestinians, wherever they are, including the refugees." She said that while "unilateral steps are not an Israeli ideology, we must not ignore the fact that the Palestinian Authority is led by a terrorist organization that does not even recognize Israel's right to exist. The international community must understand that only a unified and determined front against the Hamas government and its acceptance of the three minimal conditions set by the [international] community can bring about a future change." Turkey angered Israel in February when it hosted a Hamas delegation for talks. Gul made clear that Turkey did not support Israeli unilateral steps, saying that negotiations and dialogue were necessary to find a final status solution. "The guide to that will be the road map and UN paper. There is in fact no other solution," he said. According to Turkish government sources, Ankara is interested in easing the humanitarian plight of the Palestinians, and believes that blacklisting Hamas doesn't serve that purpose. However, the officials said that the strength of Turkish-Israeli political, military and economic ties could easily overcome any differences the two countries have regarding Hamas.

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