Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Turkish journalists that Israel has “no reason to apologize” for the Mavi Marmara incident.
Lieberman in a meeting Sunday with the journalists in Jerusalem said that Israel is ready to discuss the incident and would consider the issue of an apology as part of a package including other issues, such as Iran, Gaza and Hamas, the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported. He said current developments in the region made it important for Turkey and Israel to normalize relations.
Lieberman called the Mavi Marmara, which claimed to be carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, a “clear provocation, and it was our right to protect the lives of our soldiers. Frankly speaking, Israel has no reason to apologize,” he said.
Nine Turkish nationals, including a Turkish-American man, were killed in clashes during the May 31, 2010 raid by Israeli commandos.
It was Lieberman’s first meeting with a Turkish delegation since the incident.