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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Israel seeking use of Turkish airbase to train for Iran?

An Israeli delegation will travel to Ankara on Monday to try to set Israel's relations with Turkey on a positive path. The Sunday Times of London reports that one of the items on Israel's agenda is to propose trading advanced defense systems - including Arrow anti-ballistic missiles - for access to Turkey's Akinci air base for use in training for an attack against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Yaakov Amidror, the head of the National Security Council, was due in Ankara on Monday to discuss the full restoration of diplomatic ties with Turkey, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's apology to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.


Additionally, Amidror has been assigned to try to resuscitate the 1996 agreement between Jerusalem and Ankara which allowed the IAF to train in Turkish airspace and use the Akinci airbase. In return, Israel will offer to sell Turkey advanced missile and surveillance technology, the Times reported.
According to the Times, among the advanced systems Amidror will offer the Turks are the Arrow anti-ballistic missiles defense system, a visual intelligence system developed by Israeli defense company Elop that can create a precise image at a range of 60 miles during day or night and under any weather condition, and an advanced electronic warfare system made by Elta.
Turkey and Israel share concern over Iran's nuclear program, that Tehran claims is being developed solely for peaceful purposes. The two countries are also interested in military cooperation over the concern of spill-over from the Syrian civil war, the Times quotes an Israeli defense source as saying.
Well, maybe. But Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says there's nothing to discuss with Israel (Hat Tip: Joshua I).
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said Turkey categorically denies discussing the future of Syria with Israel, dismissing suggestions that the recent Israeli apology was linked to developments in war-torn Syria. 
“This will be Turkey's stance both today and tomorrow. Turkey will never discuss Syria's future with Israel,” said Davutoğlu during a televised interview on Thursday, adding that this was the case for all of Turkey's neighbors.
What could go wrong?

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