U.S. Not Pressuring Turkey, Israel to Mend Ties, Diplomat Says
NEW YORK (TURKISH HABERLER - TH) -- Top U.S. diplomat in Turkey has said that Washington did not put pressure on Turkey or Israel to mend bilateral relations -- bitterly deteriorated after Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists last year in May.
"We are not using pressure. We do support both of our friends. We believe that the two countries will work together again not just to settle their differences but for the stability and the security of the region," Francis Ricciardone, U.S. ambassador in Ankara, told reporters on Tuesday.
Ricciardone said he believed that both Turkey and Israel were aware that their national interest such as the security and stability of the region were at stake.
Turkish FM Davutoglu (left) and US Ambassador to Turkey Ricardone (Photo TH 2011)
Responding to a question over U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's expected visit to Turkey, Ricciardone said plans were not yet clear about her official Turkey visit, adding however that Clinton would participate in a July 15 meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Istanbul.