Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he did right to meet with Israeli Industry Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer, amidst rising criticism.
Davutoglu who addressed the Turkish Parliament on Thursday rebuffed his critics saying that the meeting was an "opportunity" to tell Turkey's demands straight to Israel's face.
"The Israeli Industry and Trade Minister Ben-Eliezer on behalf of Isreali Premier Netanyahu requested to meet, and we held a meeting; we did the right thing," Davutoglu was quoted as saying.
Relations between Turkey and Israel saw a heavy blow after Israeli commandos raided late May a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and killed eight Turkish activists and a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent.
Davutoglu went onto say Israel had been requesting to contact Turkey since the raid on Mavi Marmara through direct and indirect messages.
"We did not find it right to contact Israel without taking sufficient action in the international arena," said Davutoglu.
"We did this to tell our terms straight to their faces. We did this so that we could tell our essential demands, we have been strongly declaiming to the whole world, the global arena and the Security Council, straight to the faces of the Israelis," said Davutoglu.
Earlier today the second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) argued that the meeting was an effort on the sly, accusing the government of being inconsistent: on the one hand recalling its ambassador, while on the other hand the Foreign Minister meeting with an Israeli minister himself.
Davutoglu said he did not regret meeting with the minister saying it was the "right move". He said they forced Israel to isolation in the international platforms, adding that Israel was left alone.
He said they would further isolate Israel in the international arena, adding that he was confident an international panel would be established for an independent investigation into the Israeli raid of the flotilla attack.
The minutes of the meeting is in the official records of the state, no one can make such accusations, said Davutoglu, adding that he was accompanied by Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu.
"Diplomacy can me made openly or secretly. You should ask why the meeting was secret not to us but the Israeli side. If a secret meeting causes such a crack in the government (Israeli) an open meeting would never even have taken place," said Davutoglu.
Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, the meeting --which is reported to have taken place within both Netanyahu's and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's knowledge-- cast a heavy blow to the trust between him and Premier Netanyahu.
According to a Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman, during the meeting Davutoglu reminded Eliezer of Turkey's expectations from Israel -an apology, payment of damages to the families of the victims of the attack and the injured reiterating Turkey's demand for the establishment of an international commission to investigate the attack and end to the blockade in Gaza.
Related news reports:
Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Temmuz 2010, 11:46