Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman angrily responded to comments made by his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in a Turkish newspaper. Davutoglu called for Israel to either apologize for the killing of Turkish civilians on the Mavi Marmara aid ship or, failing that, to permit an international investigation.
Lieberman insisted that neither of these options was acceptable, and once again chastised Turkey for what he called major policy changes. Since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already made it clear that Israel would not apologize for the killings, Lieberman’s comments appear to be little but an attempt to reassert himself in the foreign affairs of the nation.
Netanyahu has attempted to keep Lieberman as far from the Turkey debacle as possible, sending a rival minister to secret talks aimed at rescuing relations with Turkey, When Lieberaman has commented on Turkey it has usually been to condemn them publicly, including multiple occasions during which the foreign ministry likened Turkey to Iran and insisted that the long-standing Israeli ally was trying to threaten Israel’s existence by supporting the aid ships to the Gaza Strip.
With Turkey and Israel two of its closest allies, the US government has been scrambling to see the two reconcile, but so far this has not amounted to much other than one secret meeting. Israel has ruled out allowing an international probe into the killings, and the US has promised to help prevent it from happening.