Israel needs allies, but they don’t need this kind of friend. Here Turkey preemptively breaks diplomatic relations with Israel by demanding Israel do something they cannot and will not do– apologize for defending themselves.
* Turkey says repairing ties impossible if demands not met
*Relations between former close allies at record low
July 5 (Reuters) – Turkey’s foreign minister was quoted on Monday as saying that Ankara would cut ties with Israel unless it apologised or accepted an international inquiry into its deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza.
But a Turkish government official told Reuters the minister’s words had been misrepresented. The official said Ankara’s position was that it would be very difficult or impossible to repair bilateral ties with the Jewish state unless Ankara’s previously stated demands were met.
Israel said on Monday it had no intention of issuing a formal apology to Turkey.
The public exchange between the two once close U.S. regional allies followed talks last week by Turkish and Israeli officials aimed at mending fences. “Israel has three paths ahead: It either apologises, or accepts the findings from an international commission investigating the raid, or Turkey will cut off ties,” Hurriyet daily quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying.
Once Israel’s closest Muslim ally, Turkey has said several times it wants Israel to apologise over the May 31 raid, pay compensation, agree to a U.N. inquiry into the incident and lift the blockade of 1.6 million Palestinians living in Gaza Strip. The Turkish government official said on Monday those demands still stand. The two countries had forged a friendship in the 1990s largely based on military cooperation and intelligence sharing, but trade ties have also thrived.
Israel has rejected a proposal by U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon for an international investigation and has set up its own inquiry. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his country has no intention of apologising. “We don’t have any intention to apologise. We think that the opposite is true,” he told reporters during a visit to Latvia.