Israel's military attache will remain at the Jewish state's embassy in Turkey
File photo shows police standing guard outside the Israeli embassy in Ankara. Israel's military attache will remain at the Jewish state's embassy in Turkey despite a brewing crisis between the nations that saw Ankara expel the Israeli ambassador, an official said on Tuesday. © Adem Altan - AFP/File
Israel's military attache will remain at the Jewish state's embassy in Turkey
AFP
Last updated: September 6, 2011

Israel military attache to stay in Turkey

Israel's military attache will remain at the Jewish state's embassy in Turkey despite a brewing crisis between the nations that saw Ankara expel the Israeli ambassador, an official said on Tuesday.

"There's no break with Turkey: the proof is that our military attache in Ankara will remain in his office and that consular services there will continue to function," senior defence ministry official Amos Gilad told Israeli public radio.

"A solution to this crisis must be found," he added, saying Israel should seek to resolve it through its European and US connections, as well as through NATO.

"Turkey has a lot to lose with an extremist policy," he said.

Formerly-close ties between Israel and Turkey frayed in the wake of a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships trying to breach the blockade on the Gaza Strip in May 2010.

The raid killed nine Turkish citizens, prompting Ankara to demand Israel apologise, pay compensation and lift the blockade on Gaza before ties could be repaired.

Israel refused the terms and in recent days relations have sunk to a new low following publication of a UN report on the deadly raid, which accused Israel of using excessive force but endorsed its naval blockade, infuriating Turkey and the Palestinians.

After details of the report were leaked to the press, Ankara on Friday said it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and suspending military agreements with the Jewish state.

It repeated a call for a lifting of the blockade and threatened to lodge a case against Israel before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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