NOTE: This page's content is part of the JUF News archives. To see the latest content from Jewish Chicago: The JUF Magazine, please visit Jewish-Chicago.org.

Turkey suspends defense, trade ties with Israel; Greece, Israel sign pact on security cooperation

Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has suspended defense industry ties with Israel and halted trade pending a decision on permanently suspending all trade.

Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has suspended defense industry ties with Israel and halted trade pending a decision on permanently suspending all trade.

"Trade ties, military ties, regarding defense industry ties, we are completely suspending them. This process will be followed by different measures," Erdogan said Tuesday, according to news agencies.

Erdogan also said that Turkish Navy ships will have a heightened presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Israeli diplomats who have not yet left Turkey have until Wednesday to do so, the prime minister said. Israel's ambassador to Turkey had finished his term and had planned to return to Israel. No replacement had been named.

Erdogan also said that he may visit the Gaza Strip through Egypt after a visit to Cairo later this month, according to Reuters.  

Many of the sanctions already had been announced by Turkey's foreign minister on Sept. 2, the day that the United Nations released the Palmer report, an investigation into Israel's May 2010 boarding of the Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara in which nine Turkish nationals were killed. The report found that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza is legal but that Israeli commandos used excessive force in confronting the passengers.

Israel has refused to apologize for the raid but has expressed "regret" for the deaths.

Meanwhile, Greece and Israel signed a security cooperation agreement amid declining Israeli relations with neighboring Turkey. Greek Defense Minister Panos Beglitis, making the first official visit by a Greek defense minister to Israel, and his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, signed a cooperation memorandum on security in Jerusalem on Sunday during the first day of Beglitis' three-day trip.

"I come as my country's defense minister to state our political will as a government, as well as the majority of the country's political forces, for the two countries, the two governments, the two peoples, to work together so that we can further develop and deepen our bilateral relations in all sectors of mutual interest and concern," Beglitis said.

The visit is part of a cooperation memorandum signed last year between Prime Minister George Papandreou and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel's ambassador to Greece, Arie Mekel, noted the "unprecedented number of high-level visits" between Israel and Greece this year. He said the visit by Beglitis "highlights again the dramatic upgrade of the relations between Greece and Israel for the benefit of both countries."

Beglitis clarified that his visit concerns bilateral relations with the State of Israel exclusively and is not functioning competitively with other countries in the region.

"We are seeing with satisfaction the deepening and widening of relations between us and the Greeks in all sectors, including the security sector, and we desire to see the deepening and widening of this cooperation between the governments, between the Defense Ministries and between our peoples," Barak said.



AdvertisementKabbalah Experience
AdvertisementMarriot Lincolnshire Resort
AdvertisementSpertus New Generation
Connect with us