Turkey to be Offered Major Role by US in Peace Talks, if Gaza Flotilla Stopped

Ankara – PNN – The US is considering to offer Ankara the opportunity to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit, on the condition that it prevents a second Gaza flotilla scheduled for later this month, the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman reported on Friday. Israel prevented a similar mission last year, raiding an aid flotilla which sailed from Turkey to Gaza, killing nine Turkish activists. Turkey has demanded an apology for this raid in order to restore amicable relations with the Israeli government.

Quoting the Turkish Hürriyet, Today’s Zaman stated that the US has been planning to offer Turkey the opportunity to host major peace talks, similar to talks such as the 1991 Madrid conference and the Oslo Accords of 1993, if it co-operates in stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla in order to restore ties with Israel.

No offer has yet been made, but an American official said that it is unlikely that Ankara would accept such a proposal until Israel apologises for the incident on May 31, 2010.

Binyamin Netanyahu has stated recently that he hopes the flotilla will be prevented diplomatically, but that he is not ruling out the use of force. The US supports the Israeli stance and has expressed its concerns to the Turkish government, but Turkey insists it is a civilian initiative and has warned Israel not to repeat the events of last year.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davuto?lu, Turkey hopes that “Israel will not repeat such an action in international waters this time.”

The flotilla, due to set sail from Turkey in the last week of June, will attempt to breach the Israeli-imposed blockade, in order to carry aid to the people of Gaza.

Categories: Asia, Israel, Palestine, Turkey

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