Simon's Feed
Jul 6, 2010

Turkey’s president says Israel acting irrationally

S AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that divisions within Israel’s coalition were stopping the Jewish state repairing relations ruined by the storming of a Gaza-bound aid ship over a month ago.

Speaking to Reuters while returning from an official visit to Kazakhstan, Gul said Israel’s apparent readiness to become more isolated by ditching relations with a country that had been its only Muslim ally was irrational.

Jul 2, 2010

Turkey and Israel hold talks on mending fences

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey told Israel at face-to-face talks in Brussels this week what it must do to mend ties damaged after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza aid ship nearly a month ago, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said on Thursday.

Once Israel’s closest Muslim ally, Turkey has said it wants Israel to apologize, pay compensation, agree to a U.N. inquiry into the incident and lift the blockade of 1.6 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

Jun 9, 2010

Israeli raid, Iran sanctions loom over Turkey-Arab meet

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey can count on applause from Arab foreign ministers for championing the cause of Gaza’s Palestinians meeting in Istanbul on Thursday, but some may be discomfited that Turkey has done what they have failed to do.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will open the meeting of economic and foreign ministers of the 22 members of the Arab League on Thursday, having put Gaza’s plight near the top of the world agenda after an Israeli commando raid on an aid ship.

Jun 8, 2010

Pakistan’s Punjab govt waking up to militant threat

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The provincial government in Pakistan’s Punjabi heartland is coming out of denial about the threat from militants there, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday.

Asked when Pakistan might launch a crackdown on militant groups in the eastern province of Punjab, Qureshi said some lower level militants had been picked up and some eliminated.

Jun 8, 2010

Summit members condemn Israel over Gaza raid

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Leaders from the Middle East and Asia condemned Israel’s raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza at a summit on Tuesday, calling on the Jewish state to end its “inhuman” blockade of the Palestinian territory.

In a diplomatic coup for Turkey, all members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) except Israel itself denounced it for last week’s raid, in which 9 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed.

Jun 7, 2010

Turkey and Azerbaijan sign MOU on natural gas

ISTANBUL, June 7 (Reuters) – Turkey and Azerbaijan signed on
Monday a memorandum of understanding on natural gas, opening the
way for Azeri gas exports to Europe and putting the EU-backed
Nabucco pipeline one step closer to securing supplies.

The deal also gives Turkey the right to re-export natural
gas from the second phase of production at Azerbaijan’s offshore
Shah Deniz gas field, boosting the EU candidate’s role as an
energy hub for European energy supplies.

Jun 7, 2010

Turkey heaps pressure on Israel over Gaza at talk

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey called for international punishment of Israel for its deadly raid on a Turkish Gaza-bound aid ship at a summit on Monday where Ankara will also urge an immediate end to Israel’s blockade of the territory.

Leaders from Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are to attend the Eurasian and Middle East talks, but Israel is sending a diplomat from its consulate in Ankara rather than expose a higher-ranking figure to the fury over last week’s killings.

Jun 7, 2010

Pakistan says Taliban leaders fled outside Af-Pak

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Pakistan’s military operations in tribal areas have forced some important Taliban leaders to flee outside of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday.

Afghanistan-Pakistan relations had seen a “dramatic shift” since Pakistan returned to civilian-led democracy, Qureshi added after three-way talks with Turkey designed to help dispel years of mistrust between Kabul and Islamabad.

Jun 7, 2010

Turkey to pressure Israel over Gaza at talks

ISTANBUL, June 7 (Reuters) – Turkey was expected to call at
a summit that opened on Monday for international punishment of
Israel for a bloody raid on a Turkish aid ship and push for the
lifting of its blockade on Gaza.

Leaders from Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are
attending the Eurasian and Middle East summit, but Israel is
sending a diplomat from its consulate rather than expose a more
senior figure to the fury over last week’s killings.

Jun 6, 2010

Turkey hosts Eurasian summit amid Israel storm

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey, seething with anger after an Israeli raid on an aid ship bound for Gaza, hosts leaders from Russia, Iran, the Arab world and beyond this week for a Eurasian security summit that may further isolate Israel.

The guest list for the meeting in Istanbul of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), reads like a “who’s who” of leaders from world hot spots, with participants from the Middle East, South Asia and the Korean Peninsula.