´Netanyahu sought dialogue with Erdogan, but was rejected´ (ISRAEL HAYOM) Shlomo Cesana and Israel Hayom Staff 08/06/12)
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Officials say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached out to his
Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in bid to reconcile with
Turkey, but Erdogan responded that "there is nothing to talk about"
until Israel apologizes for Mavi Marmara raid.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuses to speak with
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, senior officials in Jerusalem
revealed on Sunday, saying that Israel´s efforts at establishing a
meaningful dialogue with the Turkish government had failed.
The officials said Netanyahu asked to speak with Erdogan and sought
to set up a meeting between the two to resolve the ongoing crisis
between their countries.
However, Turkey made it clear that as long as there was no formal
apology from Israel — as demanded by Erdogan — over the deaths of
nine Turkish nationals during the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi
Marmara ship in May 2010, then "there is nothing to talk about."
In September 2011, Turkey downgraded its diplomatic relations with
Israel, expelling the Israeli ambassador and canceling all military
agreements with Israel. The move came after a U.N. report into the
incident backed Israel´s legal right to impose a naval blockade on
the Gaza Strip, but said Israeli commandos used "excessive and
unacceptable force" when they commandeered the Mavi Marmara.
The report slammed Turkey for not doing enough to ward off the deadly
confrontation at sea. Turkey has rejected the report´s conclusions
and is sticking to its demand that Israel apologize for the incident
and compensate the victims´ families.
In June, Turkish prosecutors submitted to the High Criminal Court in
Istanbul indictments for four former Israeli military leaders they
claim were responsible for the incident, including former Chief of
General Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi. Prosecutors requested
nine life sentences for each defendant.
Israel has officially refused to apologize for the incident, although
government officials have said they are willing to discuss the matter
to reach a mutually acceptable compromise.
Officials in Jerusalem on Sunday reiterated that Netanyahu wanted to
talk about reconciliation and "a sort of apology," but that a "public
and official apology will be refused."
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