Syria praised Turkey on Tuesday for canceling international military exercises that were to include Israel, saying it amounted to a reprimand for the country's occupation of Arab lands.
"We encourage such cancellations as long as Israel is continuing its aggression and occupation (of Arab territories)," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said. He made the comment during a press conference with Turkey's visiting foreign minister.
Initially, Turkey said the reason was not political. But its foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, later linked the cancellation to Operation Cast Lead launched by Israel last December.