A political row has erupted in Israel after secret fence-mending talks were held with Turkey in the wake of the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.
Hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is furious that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office failed to inform him of the meeting in Brussels or obtain his consent.
The talks took place between Israeli Trade Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Media reports suggest the Obama administration may have applied pressure for the meeting to take place. But Ankara, formerly a close ally of Israel, wants the world to know it did not go looking for the talks.
“This meeting was requested by the Israeli side,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin. “In this meeting, recent Turkish-Israeli relations were evoked, notably after the attack on the humanitarian flotilla, as well as how these relations will be shaped in the future.”
Nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed on May 31st. when Israeli commandos stormed a ship heading for Gaza as part of a relief aid flotilla.