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Report: Obama warned Erdogan of flotilla probe

Turkish sources tell al-Hayat newspaper US president told prime minister international inquiry into Israeli raid on Marmara ship 'may lead to accusations against passengers, IHH organization, could turn into doubled-edged sword'

An international inquiry into the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla may hurt the Turks – This is the message that US President Barack Obama has conveyed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish sources told the London-based al-Hayat newspaper.

 

Saturday's report said Obama told Erdogan that "such an inquiry commission may lead to accusations against several passengers on the Marmara ship, or members of the IHH organization and Turkey must know that its request could turn into a double-edged sword."

 

Turkish sources told the paper that the meeting between Obama and Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Canada paved the way for the secret meeting between Israel's Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels.

 

According to the Turkish sources, "Obama conveyed promises and calming messages to Turkey, in an attempt to convince Israel's prime minister, Netanyahu, in their upcoming meeting next Tuesday, to accept the Turkish demands."

 

The sources said Ben-Eliezer noted that Israel could apologize to the families of some of the activists killed in the flotilla raid, but not to all of them, as some of them were affiliated with Hamas.

 

The sources added that Ben-Eliezer asked that Turkey give the internal Israeli probe into the raid a chance, or include its report in the international commission's report, which Israel will not officially take part in or work with directly.

 

Davutoglu himself said the meeting was held in secret at Israel's behest, adding that "the meeting caused an earthquake within the Israeli government. What would have happened if the meeting was held in public?"

 

He also defended remarks he made in Istanbul last month while meeting with Arab foreign ministers, when he said, "God willing, we will pray together in Jerusalem".

 

"Jerusalem was, and still is a subject of importance to Turkey," the foreign minister said, attacking the Turkish parliament member who criticized him for his remarks.

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.10, 10:55
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