Turkey welcomes UN's Israel probe, reserves demands

Turkey welcomed a UN probe over deadly Israel attack on a Gaza aid ship, reserving demands for apology and compensation.

Turkey welcomes UN's Israel probe, reserves demands

Turkey welcomed a UN probe over deadly Israel attack on a Gaza aid ship, reserving demands for apology and compensation.

Turkey on Monday welcomed the decision on establishment of a UN panel of inquiry on May 31 deadly Israeli attack on Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish activists and a 19-yeard-old American of Turkish origin.

The attack strained relations between Turkey and Israel to the point of breaking. Turkey, which withdrew its ambassador and suspended joint military exercises with Israel in protest of the attack, officially demanded an apology from Israel and an international investigation into the attack in international waters.

Turkish Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said Turkey would make all contributions to works of the international committee.

Earlier in the day, Israel announced that it agreed "to cooperate" with United Nations in an investigation into the May 31 attack.

But it is not immediately clear if Israel would allow full access to UN panel members, such as questioning Israeli commandos involved in the flotilla attack.

Yet, following the cabinet decision, for the first time, Israel has agreed to cooperate in a UN investigation related to an incident involving Israeli soldiers. For the first time again, Israel will become a part of a UN investigation committee regarding its activities.

Ban Ki-moon, who also announced the launch of international committee, said the panel would start working on August 10 and submit its first progress report in September.

Foreign Ministry said it appreciated Ban's efforts and resolute stance, adding that the investigation should be prompt, impartial, credible and transparent as mentioned in the
Presidential Statement of the Security Council.

"Supremacy of international law"

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday the establishment of UN panel would "affirm the supremacy of international law."

The May 31 incident is an issue more than just between Turkey and Israel. There was clearly a violation of international law on May 31. This violation of international law should be investigated by the international community. The killing of eight Turkish citizens and an American of Turkish origin was an incident that should have been investigated by the international community as the incident took place in international waters, Davutoglu also said.

Davutoglu said Israel's decision to cooperate with UN probe showed that every country was "accountable" to international law.

In an exclusive interview with the AA, Minister Davutoglu said that the UN Secretary General has taken a crucial step on behalf of the UN, an entity that represents international conscience.

The UN panel of inquiry will affirm the supremacy of international law. Any UN member's acts were accountable to international law, Davutoglu said.

We are sure that the UN panel of inquiry will be objective, work fast and make a comprehensive study. We have full confidence in the UN Secretary General, Davutoglu said.

We hope that all works in the UN would contribute to efforts for peace in the region, Davutoglu also said.

Israel did not explain exactly how Israel planned to co-operate with the panel.

Israel had until now rejected calls for an international independent investigation into the commando raid and has shunned previous UN investigations into its military actions.

It refused to co-operate with a commission that accused it last year of war crimes in the 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which killed up to 1,500 Palestinians.

"Reserved demands"

Meanwhile, Davutoglu said Turkey's representative in UN panelwould be "an experienced diplomat".

Minister Davutoglu said that his ministry consulted with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the appointment of an experienced Turkish diplomat to the UN panel of inquiry.

Turkey's representative in the UN panel of inquiry will be an experienced diplomat. The UN Secretary General will announce the name of this diplomat in a few days, Davutoglu said, not offering a name.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan requested from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to closely follow-up the United Nations (UN) flotilla probe.

Sources said that Davutoglu phoned Erdogan on Monday before UN announcement.

During the phone conversation, Prime Minister Erdogan told Davutoglu to closely follow-up the UN flotilla probe and reminded that Turkey's demand for "an apology and compensation" from Israel continued.

"Not a criminal probe"

Washington's U.N. envoy Susan Rice said in a statement that the panel, which will review Israeli and Turkish inquiries, was "not a substitute for those national investigations" and its focus was "appropriately on the future

We thank Turkey and Israel for their constructive attitude and demonstrated cooperation. We also thank the UN Secretary General for his leadership and determination, the U.S. said in its statement.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said it was not a criminal investigation. "It's been tasked with making findings about the facts and circumstances and the context of the incident," he told reporters.

The U.N. Security Council, in a statement the day after the flotilla incident, had called for "a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ağustos 2010, 11:04