Israel’s Livni calls Davutoğlu to express condolences over Ankara blast

Israel’s Livni calls Davutoğlu to express condolences over Ankara blast

Foreign Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni

September 21, 2011, Wednesday/ 22:30:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who came under fire by the Turkish government and the international community over her role in the Gaza assault in early 2009, has expressed her condolences to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu over a terrorist act in Ankara that left three people dead.

Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister and leader of the opposition Kadima Party, on Wednesday called Davutoğlu to show her solidarity with the Turkish people over Tuesday's terror act in Ankara, diplomatic sources told the Anatolia news agency.

The same sources also said Davutoğlu told Livni that Turkey also expects her to display the same solidarity over the Turkish nationals who were killed as a result of terrorist acts elsewhere. The sources didn't elaborate as to whether during the conversation Davutoğlu had also discussed last year's Israeli raid that killed nine Turks on a ship bound for Gaza in international waters.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has, meanwhile, made it clear that Turkey does not have any problem with the people of Israel.

Erdoğan, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, was approached by an Israeli journalist on Wednesday as he was about to enter the Türkevi in New York, which houses both Turkey's permanent representation to the UN and the Turkish Consulate General.

“What do you think of Israeli people?” the journalist was quoted as asking Erdoğan.

“After a violent massacre in international waters, I have a word for the Israeli administration, but not for the Israeli people; they will offer an apology, pay compensation and will of course lift the embargo of Gaza,” Erdoğan responded, listing Turkey's conditions for the normalization of ties with Israel.

“We do not have a problem with Israeli people. The problem is with the Israeli administration, which is not at peace with itself,” Erdoğan added, in an apparent reference to different voices within the Israeli coalition government on whether to cave in to Turkey's demands for normalization.

Earlier this week, Israeli media reports said Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak had accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of mishandling a diplomatic crisis with Turkey, saying he could have prevented the escalation of tension between the two countries but instead succumbed to the pressure of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

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