Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Photo: AP

UN report on Gaza-bound flotilla delayed

UN chief says delay is to give Turkey, Israel more time to reach 'harmonious agreement' on its findings

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed on Friday night that he is postponing the delivery of a UN panel's report on Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists.


He said the reason for the delay is to give the two governments more time to reach a "harmonious agreement" on its findings.


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Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled out normalizing ties with Israel until the Jewish state "officially apologizes" for the May 2010 raid.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said his country will not apologize.


"It is important that these two countries improve their bilateral relationship," Ban told reporters. "That is why I have given additional time."


But with September's General Assembly ministerial meeting approaching, he said, "there's a very limited time."


Ban Ki-moon has already postponed the release of the Palmer Report twice in the past, at the behest of Jerusalem and Ankara, which hoped they could settle the ongoing dispute prior to the publication of the report findings.


The UN chief avoided giving yet another extension until the last moment, explaining that he did not believe that the extra time would change Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stance on the apology. He eventually relented to pressure from the US and Turkey. Israel did not oppose another extension, but did not demand it.


Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 08.27.11, 07:59
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