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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Don't hold your breath on a reconciliation with Turkey

More than a year after President Hussein Obama promised that reconciliation between Israel and Turkey was at hand, and after numerous false starts, the Turks may have brought the reconciliation prospects to an end on Monday. A Turkish court asked Interpol to issue a red notice for the arrest four retired senior IDF officers in connection with the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. The four are former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Navy chief V.-Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom, ex-Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, and former Air Force intel chief Avishai Levi. On Tuesday morning, Israel reacted the only way it could have reacted, telling Interpol that the arrest request is political. Under Interpol's rules, that should end any prospect that the four will be arrested... by Interpol.
The former Israeli commanders were tried in absentia at the Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes, reported the Hurriyet Daily News, adding that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying “the judiciary process is ongoing” and “the ruling is being examined by law experts.”
Interpol statutes state that proceedings related to political or military affairs are not ones in which Interpol may intervene, so it is more than likely that they will not put out international arrest warrants for the four officers.
The move came after months of negotiations between Turkey and Israel to end a diplomatic crisis over the commando raid on the Turkish ship challenging Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, run by Hamas.
Yet another Middle East problem botched by Obama....

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