Israeli FM says Turkey should not expect apology over Gaza ship raid

Published December 26th, 2010 - 08:02 GMT

It seems that relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv are not going to improve soon. Hardline Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed on Sunday that his country would not apologize to Turkey for a deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship that killed nine Turks.

Speaking in Jerusalem at a meeting of Israel's ambassadors, Lieberman said Ankara's demand for an apology before normalizing ties was "a cheek.""The ones who have to apologize are the government of Turkey for supporting terror," he stated. "There will be no apology" from Israel.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, in a statement, later distanced itself from the foreign minister. Lieberman was "only expressing a personal opinion, like other ministers do," it said. "Mr Netanyahu is the only one who can express the position of Israel" on the dispute with Turkey.

On Sunday, the Turkish ferry that was the target of Israel's deadly naval raid received a welcome hero from thousands as it arrived back in Istanbul.  

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