Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Photo: AFP

Turkish FM: Reconsider Gaza flotilla

Ahmet Davutoglu calls on flotilla organizers to reconsider plans following opening of Rafah crossing, Palestinian unity agreement. 'We must first see how new government functions,' he says

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday called on the organizers of the second Gaza flotilla to wait and see how the re-opening of the Rafah crossing will affect the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.


This is the first time that the Turkish foreign minister has called on the flotilla organizers, who were planning on setting sail at the end of June, to reconsider their plans.



Thus far Davutoglu has rejected requests from Israel and the US to try and stop the flotilla, claiming that it was a private civilian initiative therefore beyond the government's purview. He insisted that the international community must work to lift the Gaza blockade instead of attempting to halt the flotilla.


In Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper on Monday the foreign minister reiterated his statements claiming that Turkey cannot put a stop to the activities of a civilian organization.

And yet, he said that the organization must wait to see whether the circumstances in Gaza change after Egypt opened the Rafah crossing and ahead of the establishment of a Palestinian unity government.


Wait and see

"In order to avoid a repeat of last year's tragedy, Israel must also do its part," he said adding that "Israel must wait until after the new Palestinian government is in power and then remove the Gaza blockade."


In addition, the foreign minister said that he had recently spoken to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who noted that the new government would be formed within the next two to three weeks.


"What has Israel previously stated? Israel said that it wouldn't lift the Gaza blockade because it does not recognize Hamas," Davutoglu noted, "since there will no longer be a government in Gaza the moment a unity government is formed then we must first see how the new government functions."



פרסום ראשון: 06.06.11, 20:14
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