After a much publicized diplomatic fallout between Turkey and Israel, UN Chief Ban Ki Moon is now urging both countries to mend their ties and to return to the negotiating table in regards to the flotilla raid which claimed the life of 8 Turks in 2010.
The Secretary General told the press: “I sincerely hope that Israel and Turkey will improve their relationships. Both countries are very important countries in the region and their improving relationship, normal relationship will be very important in addressing all the situations in the middle-east, including the middle-east process.”
Since Ankara took the decision of expulsing the Israeli ambassador and severing its military ties with its Jewish neighbor, analysts are warning that this “bad blood” between the region super-powers could hinder any hope of a peace between Israel and Palestine and lead to further instability. Turkey often acted as a mediator between Israel and its Arab neighbors, using its political influence to promote peace and keep the diplomatic channels open.
However, Israel stubborn refusal to officially apologize for the Flotilla debacle forced Turkey to take drastic measures.
Back in May 2010, just after Israeli troops boarded a Gaza aid flotilla, killing 9 people in the process, amongst whom were 8 Turks, Ankara immediately recalled its ambassador, outraged by Israel’s disregards for Human Rights and International Law.
Soon after, an official inquiry was launched, as to investigate the legality of the Israeli led operation.
Since the report was made public on Friday, recognizing the “use of excessive force” on the Israeli side, Turkey has demanded a formal apology from the Jewish State.
Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu said: “The time has come for Israel to pay a price for its illegal actions.”
Israel Prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu declared in a statement that although he felt profoundly saddened by the losses of lives, Israel should not apologize for exercising self-defense. “Israel once again expressed its regret for the loss of human life but does not apologize for this operation. Israel like every other country has the legitimate right to defend itself.