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Turkey FM refuses UN flotilla report delay

Sept. 1, 2011 5:36 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 2, 2011 3:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Turkey will not accept Israel's request to delay a UN report into its 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which killed nine Turkish nationals, the Turkish Foreign Minister said Thursday.

"For us the deadline [for the formal apology from Israeli officials] is the day the UN report gets released, or we resort to Plan B," Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkish daily Today's Zaman.

Turkey says relations between the two can only be restored if Israel apologizes for the raid, compensates the families of those killed and the injured, and lifts its blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The report, last delayed on Aug. 20, was expected to be released Friday.

While he did not elaborate on the measures, the foreign affairs chief added that "Turkey will be imposing sanctions that are well known by Israel and some other international parties."

The minister told Today's Zaman that Turkey has notified Israel that it will not accept a further six-month delay to publishing the UN-initiated Palmer Report, already postponed several times in 2010 as the nations tried to mend fractured diplomatic ties after the May 2010 raid.

Davutoglu said the bid for UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state marked for September was a separate matter to the UN report, as they are "based on different grounds in principle," while pledging support for the Palestinian bid.
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