Turkish FM in new tirade against Israel

DUBAI- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hit out at Israeli policy in the Middle East in comments published on Tuesday, in the latest tirade between the longtime regional allies.
"If it (Israel) adopts aggressive policies, then Turkey will respond to this," the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat quoted Davutoglu as saying.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
"We will not remain silent on Israel's attacks on innocent Palestinian people," he added.
"What counts for us is the motive and not the relationship itself. If the aim is peace, then we will preserve good relations with any side," he said.
Recently Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan branded Israel the "principal threat to peace" in the region.
Davutoglu said: "When Israel's policies were based on diplomatic dialogue and peace we had good relations in 2008," but this changed after the "Israelis attacked Gaza."
If Israel chooses to follow the "path of peace and negotiations, and has a concrete vision... and a will to start indirect peace talks... with Syria, then Turkey will be glad to help in achieving this, as it had done before," the minister told the London-based daily.
Turkey brokered preliminary peace feelers between Israel and Syria in 2008 but they were broken off that December when Israel launched a devastating 22-day offensive against the Gaza Strip.
In a memorable outburst, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2009, after telling Israeli President Shimon Peres: "You know well how to kill people."
Relations were further strained after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon gave Turkey's ambassador a public dressing down to protest against a Turkish television series which showed Israel in a bad light.
Envoy Oguz Celikkol was made to sit on a low couch while the Turkish flag was removed from the talks table.

Tuesday, May 4th 2010

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