Mofaz: Turkey Will Become Mideast ´Superpower´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 06/20/12)
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Israel needs to come to terms with Turkey´s superpower status in the
Middle East, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz said during a
recent speech at the Washington Institute.
Mofaz highlighted the importance of mending diplomatic relations
between the two countries, saying that doing so is "necessary for the
strategic goals of Israel and for the strategic goals of Turkey."
Turkey will become a “superpower in our region… There is no question
about it,” Mofaz stated. “We should have a strategic relationship
with Turkey like we had in the past.”
Relations between the two countries had been becoming increasingly
colder due to Erdogan´s policies, and Turkey supported the illegal
Gaza flotilla of May 2010, which was an attempt to break Israel´s
lawfully instituted naval blockade of Gaza. Israeli naval commandos
boarded one of the flotilla ships, the Mavi Marmara, intending to
divert the vessel in a peaceful manner, but were violently attacked
by those aboard. Nine passengers were killed in the ensuing battle.
Turkey issued an indictment seeking life sentences for former IDF
chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi and three other former
senior commanders over their alleged involvement in the operation.
In May, Turkey vetoed Israel’s participation in a NATO summit that
took place in Chicago, and it has maintained that NATO-Israel
relations cannot be restored until Turkey-Israel relations are
normalized. It demands that Israel apologize and pay compensation to
families of Turks who were killed while using lethal weapons to
attack the unsuspecting Israeli soldiers who boarded the boat.
Recently, Turkey exerted pressure to ensure that Israel be excluded
from an array of diplomatic arenas.
Furthermore, Ankara has also announced its desire to “generate
nuclear energy” and has expressed commitment to building two nuclear
plants by 2023, in a move the Turkish leader claims is intended to
lessen its dependence on carbon fuels and generate cheaper
However, while Prime Minister Recep Erdogan claims Turkey’s
aspirations remain peaceful, such affirmations remain doubtful, at
best, as the Turkish leader has criticized the international
community for singling out Iran on nuclear issues.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/20/12)
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