Lieberman denies plans to support PKK against Turkey

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks to the media before a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on July 17, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

September 11, 2011, Sunday/ 13:24:00

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has rejected a report suggesting that he offered to hold meetings with leaders of the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in retaliation against Turkey's sanctions against his country.

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahranoth reported on Friday that Lieberman had planned meetings with PKK leaders in Europe in order to find ways to cooperate with them “in every possible area.”

In an interview with Israeli TV Channel 2 late on Saturday, Lieberman said that Israel's actions have been and will continue to be guided by international law. In response to a question, he said no such issues such as helping the PKK was discussed at a meeting of the Foreign Ministry which was the basis of Yedioth Ahronot report, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Lieberman also said that he hoped normalization with Turkey could be regained and that he hopes Turkey will also see such normalization as being in Ankara's best interest. Israel is not interested in a conflict with Turkey, but is also not ready “to wave a white flag” before Ankara, he added.

His reported remarks drew a harsh response from Turkey's Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, who considered the proposals attributed to Lieberman as “blackmail.”

“It's very troubling that someone with the rank of minister should make such irresponsible remarks,” Çiçek said on Saturday, without referring to Lieberman directly by name.

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