Israeli FM invites Davutoglu for talks, blaming Turkey on crisis

Israel's foreign minister has invited his Turkish counterpart for an "honest dialogue", blaming Turkey on the crisis in relations between Israel and Ankara.

Israeli FM invites Davutoglu for talks, blaming Turkey on crisis

Israel's foreign minister has invited his Turkish counterpart for an "honest dialogue", blaming Turkey on the crisis in relations between Israel and Ankara.

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel was seeking a return to a frank and honest dialogue with Turkey.

"I invite my counterpart, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, to Jerusalem, or any other location, where we can discuss all issues of relevance to both nations and the wider region," Lieberman wrote in an op-ed published in the Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

"If the Turkish government is truly honest about seeking to normalize relations with Israel, it needs to stop looking for excuses and attaching preconditions. Israel should not be used as an issue in the upcoming Turkish national elections in June," he said.

Lieberman touched on the Carmel forest fire on December 25, 2010, and said Davutoglu spoke about Turkey's quick dispatch of planes to help Israel battle the Carmel Forest fire, and suggested that, had the situation been reversed, Israel would not have reciprocated.

"Davutoglu must have forgotten or been unaware of our immediate response to the tragic earthquake disaster in 1999 when a contingent of 250 emergency workers was dispatched to Turkey, where they erected a field hospital and rescued many from the rubble," he said.

Lieberman said the contingent stayed for weeks, long after most other international emergency workers went back home and in addition, the Israeli public launched a spontaneous campaign to assist the earthquake victims, in an impressive display of friendship and goodwill.

"I repeat once again that we are extremely grateful to the Turkish government for its assistance during the Carmel fire and I say assuredly that should there be a disaster in Turkey we will once again immediately offer our complete cooperation and assistance, regardless of the current political atmosphere," he said.

"No conditions"


Lieberman said subsequent to the Carmel fire when Davutoglu spoke of his hope for a repair in relations, the government refused to renew a trade agreement that will leave 800 Turkish workers here without jobs and the inexplicable cancellation was unilateral and without warning.

"While presenting itself as interested in a rapprochement, the Turkish government maintains a disingenuous position," he said.

On the Mavi Marmara aid ship on which nine Turkish activists were killed due to an attack of Israeli navy forces in May 2010, Lieberman said the hatred and incitement reached its peak during the dreadful spectacle when a crowd of 100,000 welcomed the ship back to Istanbul "chanting jihadist slogans and "Death to Israel."

"The lack of condemnation for these outrageous scenes from any official Turkish sources makes it extremely hard for us to show restraint. We will not be a punching bag and will react, as any other sovereign nation, to such insults and abuse," Lieberman said.

Lieberman said the tensions predated that incident, and were "manufactured" by the Turkish government.

Lieberman said, the current crisis with Turkey did not begin yesterday and certainly not after the events surrounding the flotilla in May but it began long before this government was established and was long predetermined in Ankara.

The minister said the exact genesis of the current crisis could be traced to the moment in January 2009 when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Isareli President Shimon Peres had a disagreement in Davos.

Referring to Turkey's rapprochement with Iran, Lieberman said during the last couple of months, the "incitement" against Israel had reached new heights.

Lieberman said Israel had "no desir"e to see relations with Ankara deteriorate, accusing Turkey's politicians of exploiting Israel for domestic political purposes.

Lieberman said Israel had never sought a change in its relationship with Turkey and even today it remained in the best interests of both nations for relations to return to pre-Davos levels.

The completely unilateral change in the relations was not reflective of their actions; rather it was the result of Turkey's internal politics.

Lieberman also said allies could have disagreements; it was how they dealt with those disagreements that were the true mark of any relationship.

The two sides held brief rapprochement talks last month. Turkey wants Israel to apologise and offer compensation for the deadly flotilla raid, a demand Lieberman publicly refused.



Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2011, 12:58
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