NATO to hold emergency session at Turkey's request
Published Monday 31/05/2010 (updated) 01/06/2010 16:38
Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - NATO will hold emergency talks on Tuesday at Turkey's request after an Israeli commando unit stormed an aid convoy en route to Gaza, killing at least 10 passengers, spokesman James Appathurai said.
"Planning is underway for a meeting... at the request of the Turkish authorities tomorrow afternoon," Appathurai told the Agence France-Presse. The talks will gather ambassadors from the 28 NATO member countries at its Brussels HQ.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Santiago, Chile that his government was demanding the NATO council gather to address the deaths and accused Israel of committing "inhuman state terror" with its deadly raid on a fleet of aid ships bound for Gaza, the Turkish daily Hurriyye reported.
"It should be known that we will not stay silent and unresponsive in the face of this inhuman state terror," Erdogan said in live televised remarks ahead of his departure from Chile to Turkey, cutting short a Latin American tour, the daily wrote.
"International law has been trampled underfoot," he added.
Israel is not a member state of NATO. Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a Canada trip short, and canceled a Washington meeting, saying he regretted the deaths caused in the incident but asserted that Israel had a right to defend itself, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
He further said that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip would continue, despite renewed international calls to immediately lift the siege following reports of the deaths.