Turkey vetoes Israel’s latest NATO partnership bid, despite criticisms
Turkey has blocked Israel’s participation in NATO’s upcoming Chicago summit in a sign of Turkey’s determination to prevent its new foe from cooperating with the alliance following a deadly ship raid.
Turkish and Israeli relations worsened in May 2010 and have remained strained since then after Israeli naval commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara, a ship carrying humanitarian aid to breach Israel’s Gaza blockade, killing nine Turkish civilians.
Turkey said it will not allow Israel, a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven non-NATO nations, to take part in the alliance’s new “Partnership Cooperation Menu (PCM),” during a NATO meeting in Brussels last week attended by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Because of Ankara’s veto, Israel will not attend the NATO summit due to take place from May 20 to 21 in Chicago, an important diplomatic summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama.
According to information obtained from Turkish diplomatic sources, Davutoğlu reacted to the criticism raised by some NATO members in the Brussels meeting who claimed bilateral problems should not be brought to the alliance by underlining that Turkey cannot consider a country which killed Turkish citizens in international waters as a partner.