Turkish President Abdullah Gul said he would not meet his Israeli peer Shimon Peres on the sidelines of the U.N. summit due to his "USA schedule," the Anatolia news agency reported Monday. Earlier it was speculated the two leaders would hold talks in New York in what would have been their first contact since May 31 when Israeli commandos stormed Gaza-bound aid ships, killing nine activists.
"My program does not allow" such a meeting, Gul was quoted as saying by Anatolia. Gul noted that Ankara still expected Israel to apologize for the raid and pay compensation, adding that an apology on its own would not suffice. "An apology by Israel will not mean that all is forgotten, all is over, and that we should bury the dead and take care of the living," he said.