Turkey says Israel must do more

Sept. 26, 2013 at 7:22 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Israel must do more to normalize ties with Turkey, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

While there has been some progress, Israel has to fulfill three conditions for the situation to improve, the Turkish daily Today's Zaman Thursday quoted Davutoglu as saying in New York the previous day.

The first condition concerning an Israeli apology to Turkey related to the 2010 Israeli commando raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in which nine people were killed has been fulfilled, he said, adding, however, Israel has yet to compensate the families of the victims. He said negotiations are under way and "we hope will be concluded."

The third condition is for Israel to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip and end "restrictions on the Palestinian people," he said. Davutoglu said Turkey is concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, especially since Egyptian authorities closed its border crossing and destroyed smuggling tunnels.

"We hope all three conditions will be met and the normalization process can move forward," he said.

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