Lieberman: It's no use, Turkey won’t change
Foreign minister says Israeli gesture will not improve relations with Turkey due to strategic change in Ankara leadership's policy. Lieberman responds to Egypt's declaration that it is breaking siege, notes that maintaining calm in Strip is in Cairo's interest
As the Turkish campaign against Israel continues, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman sees not real possibility to restore relations between the two countries following the deadly Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.
"It would be a mistake thinking that we could change the Turkish stand against Israel with another effort or gesture, as there has been a strategic change in the Turkish government which stems from deep changes in their society," Lieberman said Tuesday in a meeting with members of the Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York.
Addressing the Egyptian decision to open the Rafah crossing permanently, Lieberman said that "maintaining the calm in Gaza is first of all an Egyptian interest and there is a great deal of cooperation between the security forces of Israel and Egypt."
As for Iran, the foreign minister said he hoped to see "real tough decisions against Iran" during the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, but added that "the situation is probably slightly different and this is the entire international community's problem."
Lieberman is in New York for what has been defined as a PR assignment, but is not expected to meet with any American administration officials or other foreign ministers. He met with Israel's ambassadors and representatives in the United States and Canada in order to explain the government's stand on the Navy raid, as well as with Jewish community leaders.
Officials at the foreign minister's office rejected claims that public funds were allegedly wasted in a trip aimed at convincing those who are already convinced. They believe Deputy Minister Daniel Ayalon could not have briefed the diplomats instead of Lieberman. "A video conference would not have made the PR efforts any better," one of them said.
The official clarified that "the trip to New York is essential. The minister is not going to shop or have a good time. He is going for three days, traveling 12 hours in each direction, and is going to work hard. This trip is crucial in light of the situation of the Israeli PR on the Turkish issue, and he will be able to explain it to them first hand."