In an interview with CNN Turk on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu claimed that Ankara had previously threatened to veto an Israeli request to open an office as part of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue initiative in Brussels.
Turkey's Today Zaman reported that Israel, through the help and coordination of the US, made an attempt to open the NATO office in Brussels earlier this year and Turkey threatened to veto Israel’s
move in NATO’s foreign ministers meeting in Berlin in April.
At the time Turkish officials made it clear that under the current conditions, Turkey wouldn’t approve Israel's move and would veto it if Jerusalem were to make an official request. As a result, Israel decided to withdraw the request.
In light of the reports, Turkish diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman that the decision to veto the Israeli request was not irreversible but was dependent on political circumstances.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Reuters)
Turkey recently expelled Israel's ambassador and downgraded diplomatic relations
with Israel over Jerusalem's refusal to apologize for the events of last year's Gaza flotilla
in which nine Turkish citizens were killed.
In recent weeks, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made a number of speeches in which he expressed, among other things, the Turkish fleet's readiness
to face Israel, adding that Israel could not continue to do as it wishes in the eastern Mediterranean.
At a press conference held on Saturday Davutoglu said that Turkey does not need United States' mediation to solve the crisis with Israel: "We do not need mediation ... for Israel in any way," he said.
According to Davutoglu "There is no such situation in which mediation is needed. The demands of Turkey are clear" if its former ally Israel wants to improve relations."
He added that Israeli-Turkish relations might be on the agenda among other issues of a meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama next week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.