PMO denies that Netanyahu, Erdogan to meet in Athens

Turkish newspaper reports Greek PM attempting to set up meeting between leaders in order to ease tensions between Turkey and Israel.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 16, 2010 17:12
2 minute read.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

The Prime Minister's Office denied reports stating that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was expected to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a conference in Athens later this month, Channel 10 reported on Saturday.

Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet reported that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou invited both Netanyahu and Erdogan to a conference scheduled to take place in Athens on October 22. According to the report, the meeting was an attempt to repair the tense relations that have existed between Turkey and Israel since the May 31 raid of a Gaza-bound aid ship in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed by Israeli naval commandos.

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Erdogan criticized what he called the "double standards" of the United States at the end of this week. "Washington is not ready to condemn the state terrorism of Israel against Turkey, which means that the USA is supporting international terrorists who killed our citizens in international waters,"  the Turkish prime minister was quoted as saying by Pakistani paper The International News on Friday.

When asked about Turkey's diplomatic relations with Israel, Erdogan said that "despite diplomatic relations, Israel never behaved like a civilized country with Turkey, and I cannot give any advice to my Pakistani brothers; it is their right to decide about making relations with Israel,” according to the report.


On the same trip Erdogan also said, "Israel must apologize to Turkey and pay compensation. If it does not, it will be doomed to remain isolated in the Middle East," Iranian Press TV reported on Friday.

Speaking of regional geopolitics, Erdogan stated that Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iran have a common future, emphasizing that the security of each country is dependent on the security of the others, but saying that enemies are creating problems for each of the four countries, according to The International News' report.

The comments were made as the Turkish prime minister toured flood-ravaged parts of Pakistan this week.

On Wednesday, Turkey announced that it would not attend the upcoming OECD conference being held in Jerusalem later this month in what the Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, described as Turkey's first official boycott of Israel in the wake of the Mavi Marmara raid.


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