German FM focuses discussion with Turks on Iran, not Gaza
ANKARA (WJC)–A day after British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized Israel during a visit to Ankara, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was in Turkey and praised the government of Turkey for mediating in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
Speaking after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul, Westerwelle noted that Iran wants to hold talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in September. He said he expected the talks to cover all outstanding questions related to the nuclear program, and not only about the deal Tehran reached with Turkey and Brazil on the storage of uranium in Turkey.
“Talks make no sense when they cover only certain aspects,” Westerwelle said. “We welcome the diplomatic efforts of Turkey, but also those of Brazil, in moving Iran towards talks.” Davutoglu, meanwhile, expressed hope that a uranium swap in Turkey would create enough trust for Iran to proceed with wider talks on its atomic program. “We are trying to prevent the nuclear armament of Iran,” he said.
The two ministers also discussed the investigation into Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla ship in May, in which Israeli soldiers killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists. Davutoglu said he expected “solidarity” from the international community, and Germany in particular, in the affair. He said Turkey accepted Germany’s ban on the Frankfurt-based Turkish organization IHH, but described the timing of the ban shortly after the flotilla incident as unfortunate.
Although it used the same acronym as the Turkish non-governmental organization that organized the Gaza-bound flotilla, IHH could not be equated to that group, Davutoglu said. German authorities outlawed the German IHH branch in mid-July because they suspect it of funneling charitable donations to Hamas in the Gaza Strip under the cover of humanitarian aid.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
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