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Turkey slams Israel, calls for apology

Saturday July 23, 2011 08:59:32 PM, Agencies

Istanbul: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeated his country's demand for an Israeli apology over the 2010 Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla.

Erdogan demanded the apology in a two-day conference of the Palestinian envoys and the Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in the Turkish city of Istanbul, Xinhua reported.

"Until we receive an official apology for the nine Turkish citizens killed, until the families of those victims are compensated and until the blockade on Gaza is lifted, relations between our countries will not normalize," Erdogan said.

The Israeli military attacked the Gaza-bound relief aid convoy Freedom Flotilla in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens onboard the Turkish-flagged M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring at least 50 other activists who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

Moreover, the main aim of the conference is to rally international support for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the forthcoming UN meeting in September.

"We are going to the United Nations because we are forced to, it is not a unilateral action," Abbas said. "What is unilateral is Israeli settlement."

More than 100 countries have so far officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel captured and annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Ministry launched a global campaign in early June, to thwart the Palestinian move to seek statehood recognition.

Israeli diplomats have been instructed to lobby highest possible officials in their respective countries and muster support for a vote against the recognition of a Palestinian state.
 


 


 



 

 

 

 

 

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