Clinton to Turkey: Don't Sever Ties with Israel

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotuglu on Monday not to cut ties with Israel.

"The secretary encouraged the foreign minister to continue important dialogue with Israel because that relationship remains a vitally important one to the future of the region," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said following the 45-minute meeting between Clinton and Davotuglu.

Clinton also urged Turkey to allow the U.N. Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue and to refrain from interfering with international sanctions against Iran.

Turkey and Brazil voted against the fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Iran passed by the Security Council last month.

According to a senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Davutoglu agreed. Turkey offered no official response to Monday's meeting.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues threatening to sever all ties with Israel. 

Erdogan blames Israel for the May 31 confrontation between IDF forces and "activists" aboard the Turkish-owned Mavi Mamara, which led a pro-Palestinian flotilla that tried to breech the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Nine of the 40 activists on the flagship were killed after attacking the soldiers as they boarded the ship. Subsequent investigations revealed that the activists had been recruited by the quasi-Turkish humanitarian relief fund IHH, which aligns itself with several al-Qaeda-affiliated terror groups.

"We have three expectations from Israel," Erdogan said, according to Turkish media. "We demand an apology, compensation for the families of victims, and an end to the Gaza blockade."

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