US to Turkey: No military exercise unless Israel there too

Report: Washington tells Ankara that it wont participate in joint exercise if Israel not invited.

Turkey Airspace 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Turkey Airspace 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The United States will not participate in a joint military exercise hosted by Turkey if Israel is not invited to join, a US embassy spokesperson said, according to a Wednesday report by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
Anonymous Turkish sources claimed that Washington sent a message to the Turkish military saying that the US will only partake in the annual exercise held between the US, Israel, and Turkey if the Israel Air Force is also asked to join.
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The US embassy in Ankara declined comment.
“We have a clear stance regarding our relations with Israel. Our expectations continue,” said an official, referring to Turkey’s earlier demands for an apology and compensation from Israel after the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, the Hurriyet report claimed.
The report comes after Turkey denied that the US warned it that it might lose out on arms deals because of its stance toward Israel and Iran.
“No country can issue warnings against Turkey. No one, particularly, can talk to the prime minister in such a tone,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying in the Instanbul-based Today’s Zaman.
Davutoglu was responding to a story in the Financial Times in which an anonymous Obama administration official reported that US President Barack Obama personally informed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the country might have trouble getting congressional approval for military sales given its harsh criticism of Israel and vote against UN sanctions on Iran.
The White House also denied that any “ultimatum” was delivered to Turkey.
Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report