Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey was ready to resume mediating indirect talks between Syria and Israel, if the two sides voiced such a demand and "Israel conformed with the standards of the international law."
"If Turkey is given such a task we are ready to start working for peace again. But first Syria and Israel must come up with such a demand and Israel must fall in line with the international law," Erdogan told Charlie Rose Show in a televised interview on PBS.
Erdogan said Syria was eager to see the Israeli position over the resumption of indirect peace talks, adding that Damascus was also ready to restart negotiations.
"The biggest problem against peace is the coalition government in Israel," Erdogan said.
Touching on a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists, Erdogan said Israel must make an apology to Turkey for the killings and lift its
Gaza blockade, which he likened to "an open air prison."
"If those demands are met, then we can assume any role we are given in the region," Erdogan said.
Erdogan described the Israeli storming of the aid convoy as "state terrorism," adding that the Israeli commandos attacked on the Mavi Marmara ship in high seas and used deadly force.
Asked whether his remarks in which he had said that "Israel was good at killing" and that "Israel cannot wash the blood off its hands," were "too harsh", Erdogan said the remarks reflected his own views as a human being.
"My criticisms are not against the Israeli people but against the Israeli government. I pick my words very carefully before I voice them. And I can tell what I tell if children are ruthlessly killed in summary executions," Erdogan said, rejecting claims that by severely criticizing Israel he eyed to boost his credibility in the Muslim world.
The Turkish premier also lashed out at Israeli use of disproportionate force against Palestinians in response to Qassam rockets fired from Gaza.
"No one can fool me. Tell me how many rockets have been fired from Gaza and how many Israelis have been killed. Israel killed 1,500 people in just 15 days and wounded 5,000 others," Erdogan said.
Turkey's PM sets conditions for mediator role over Israel
PM Erdogan set conditions for mediator role over Israel, saying Turkey was ready to resume mediating indirect talks.