Israel envoy defends 'no link' with Turkey's mine bill

Draft law adopted by the Turkish parliament regarding the clearing of the minefields in the Turkish-Syrian border sparked controversy.

Israel envoy defends 'no link' with Turkey's mine bill

Israel's ambassador in Ankara said on Thursday denied any link with Turkey's mine bill.

He said that neither the Israeli embassy nor the Israeli government had "any connection" with the draft law adopted by the Turkish parliament regarding the clearing of the minefields in the Turkish-Syrian border.

In an interview with A.A, Israeli ambassador Gavriel Levy commented on the allegations concerning his recent meeting with Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Sahin Mengu at the Turkish parliament.

"Allegations have no foundation. I am too experienced as a diplomat to know that you never should get involved in domestic politics and this is certainly a matter for the parliamentary parties to deal within," Levy said.

The bill, which would allow a "foreign company" to lease the border area with Syria for 49 years, has stirred firm opposition and caused the main opposition party to threaten to take the law to the Constitutional Court.

Speculation an Israeli company would win the contract has inflamed sentiments, and the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was forced to rewrite parts of the bill.

According to the law, the Turkish National Defense Ministry will invite companies and institutions at first.

Pointing to the draft law adopted by the Turkish parliament early on Thursday regarding the clearing of the minefields in Turkey's southeast, Levy said, "We, neither the Israeli embassy nor the Israeli government, have anything to do with this bill. We have not intervened and will not ever certainly intervene".

Levy said that he visited the CHP deputy for the restoration of two old synagogues in Turkey's western Akhisar and Bergama regions.

Early on Thursday, Turkish parliament enacted a draft law regarding the clearing of the minefields in the Turkish-Syrian border. The parliament had been discussing the bill since May 12th and the opposition expressed its objection to the bill.

The bill envisages the clearing and destruction of the anti-personnel and anti-tank mines as well as the unexploded materials in the Turkish-Syrian border and the utilization of such territory for agricultural purposes.

According to the bill, the territory will be cleared off mines in 5 years time by a contractor to be chosen in a tender to be held by the Turkish Finance Ministry.

Deputy Chairman of CHP Group Hakki Suha Okay said on Thursday that his party would apply to the Constitutional Court and demand the annulment of such law as soon as possible.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2009, 18:36
YORUM EKLE