Abdullah Gul 311.
(photo credit: AP)
NEW YORK – Addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations on Thursday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul referenced the May 31 Gaza flotilla incident and demanded both a formal apology from Israel as well as compensation for the victims.
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Calling the deaths on the Mavi Marmara an “unacceptable act in international law,” Gul said Turkey is owed “a formal apology and compensation for the aggrieved families of the victims and the injured people” by Israel.
Gul referenced the flotilla incident in part of his remarks focusing on the political component of the General Assembly’s agenda, noting that there is “no shortage of regional issues” to be discussed.
“Peace in the Middle East holds the key to a peaceful and stable future
in the world,” Gul said, addressing the body in English.
“Unfortunately, the absence of peace there has had serious and adverse
consequences for the rest of the world.”
It would be difficult to make progress toward permanent peace, Gul said,
“unless we put an end to the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza.”
Gul attached significance to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Panel of
Inquiry into the May 31 flotilla incident, as well as the fact finding
mission of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
Gul said he is “pleased” with the Human Rights
, which he said offered “a solid legal framework for
establishing the facts about the incident.” Many NGOs, including UN
Watch and NGO Monitor, have deemed the work of the Human Rights Council
panel irreparably biased against Israel.
Referencing Iran very briefly, Gul said there is “no alternative to
diplomacy” in ensuring Iran’s conformity to International Atomic Energy