(JNS.org) Despite the Israeli
apology for the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, Turkey said it objects to meeting
Israeli diplomats at the upcoming Mediterranean Dialogue group, an annual forum
between NATO and seven Mediterranean countries in which Israel was supposed to
have participated for the first time since 2008.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Credit: World Economic Forum.
In addition, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that
Turkey would not send an envoy to Israel as part of a recent move for
normalization of ties before Israel lifts its naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Erdoğan reiterated Turkey’s stance on the issue and said Israel should lift the
blockade before full restoration of diplomatic ties, Israel Hayom reported Sunday, citing the Turkish newspaper Zaman.
According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet,
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 12th and current secretary-general of NATO, planned
to invite the foreign ministers from Mediterranean countries including Israel
and six Arab states, but Turkey has objected, arguing that “it wasn’t the right
time” for such a meeting.
“The general-secretary was planning to invite the foreign ministers of the
Mediterranean Dialogue countries on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers
meeting scheduled for April 23, but Turkey objected to the idea,” a Western
diplomatic source told Hürriyet on the condition of anonymity.
A Turkish official told Hurriyet, “At
this stage, such a meeting would not be useful.”