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Nicaragua suspends diplomatic ties with Israel
Managua slams 'illegal nature of attack on Gaza aid flotilla, reiterates support for Palestinians

Nicaragua suspended diplomatic ties with Israel on Tuesday in protest at Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine people, President Daniel Ortega's office said.

 

"Nicaragua suspends from today its diplomatic relations with the government of Israel," communications chief Rosario Murillo said in a statement read on Radio Ya.

 

Managua "underscored the illegal nature of the attack on a humanitarian mission in clear violation of international and humanitarian law," added Murillo, who doubles as poetess and first lady.

 

Nicaragua reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and urged an end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

 

US President Barack Obama spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday to express his condolences for those killed in an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza, the White House said.

 

Turkey, a key ally of the United States, has reacted angrily to Monday's raid in which nine people were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the ship. It had been trying to break an Israeli blockade on Gaza.

 

The White House said in his telephone call with Erdogan, Obama had reiterated the United States' support for "a credible, impartial, and transparent investigation of the facts surrounding this tragedy."

 

"The president affirmed the importance of finding better ways to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza without undermining Israel's security," the White House said in a statement.

 

Reuters contributed to the report 

 

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