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Turkey condemns Israeli aid attack at CICA Summit

06-08-2010 18:27 BJT

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At the third CICA Summit in Istanbul, Turkey condemned Israel's storming of an aid flotilla last week and is calling for Israel to end its blockade of Gaza immediately.

The two-day Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, or CICA began Monday. Nine heads of state including the leaders of Iran and Syria, were attending. Turkey, as host says Israel had been invited but was not expected to attend. At the opening of the conference, Turkey's foreign minister denounced Israel's raid on an aid ship to Gaza as barbarous.

Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister, said, "Recent barbarous act of one member state again blurred the line between terror and state's responsibility."

Turkey had a solid alliance with Israel until the three-week Gaza war that ended in early 2009. Turkey says it will reduce military and trade ties with Israel, and shelved discussions of energy projects, including natural gas and fresh water shipments. The Turkish leader says Israel would have to pay for killing Turks in the botched commando raid on a Turkish flagged ship in international waters.

Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister, said, "We will do whatever we can to stop the blood that's flowing there. Israel must pay the price of the blood it shed, it will definitely pay the price. And within the framework of the law, we will pursue this."

Turkey says the incident, in which nine pro-Palestinian activists died, should draw attention to what he called Israel's inhuman and unlawful blockade against Gaza.

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