NATO using Patriot missiles to thaw Israeli-Turkish relations
NATO approved a Turkish requests for Patriot missiles along its border with Syria earlier this month, and now there is a quid pro quo: Turkey will not block Israeli participation in NATO exercises in 2013
The officials said the approval had come as Turkey’s
request that NATO station Patriot missile batteries along its border with Syria
was granted, leading them to assess that NATO was using the deployment as
leverage to induce Ankara to thaw its relations with Israel.
full NATO member, has been opposed to increasing Israel’s participation within
the military alliance as ties between the two countries deteriorated, according
to NATO officials.
Israel is a NATO partner and has accordingly
participated in seminars, exercises and training as part of that status. But
over the course of the past year, as new NATO activities were planned for
cooperating countries such as Israel, Turkey objected to their going forward,
according to Israeli sources.
NATO is a consensus-based organization
where any one of its 28 full members can veto a proposal, though often
opposition is conveyed through informal channels.
However, as Turkey’s
request for the Patriot systems was approved by NATO and deployment began, a
NATO work plan for 2013 that would include Israeli participation in a range of
courses and conferences went through.
Israeli officials don’t think the
timing was a coincidence.
“At the last minute – and I think it was
dependent on the Patriots – it was approved,” said one Israeli official,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
No comment yet from the 'Tzipi Livni party' in the face of this additional proof that Israel does not face international isolation.
Labels: NATO, Turkish obsession with Israel