Turkey opts out of NATO talks with Israel

Tunisia, Egypt also reportedly dismissed potential meeting; group intended to discuss security in region has not met since 2008.

Erdogan visits Egypt 521 (photo credit: AMR ABDALAH DALSH / REUTERS)
Erdogan visits Egypt 521
Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt rejected plans to hold a meeting of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue group, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported on Saturday. Israel is one of the Dialogue group’s seven member-nations.
The Mediterranean Dialogue group for Foreign Ministers – which also includes Algeria, Jordan, Mauritania and Morocco – has not met since 2008, according to Hurriyet.
A Turkish official told Hurriyet that the meetings had not been held because of political problems between Israel and Arab member-nations.
Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office had no comment.
News that Turkey was among the countries that nixed the meeting comes as Jerusalem and Ankara struggle to reestablish diplomatic relations.
Ties between Israel and Turkey were severed in 2010 after the IDF raided the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara and killed nine Turkish activists.
Last month, at the end of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey for the deaths.
Turkey, in turn, agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties.
However, it then asked Israel to delay sending a delegation to Turkey to discuss issues relating to the restoring of diplomatic relations.
The delegation, which had been scheduled to leave for Ankara at the start of the month, is now scheduled to depart on April 22.