Turkish FM Shuns Israel's Ayalon at UN

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu walked out of the U.N.'s counter-terrorism conference in New York just before Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon addressed the forum.

Davutoglu joined French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Ayalon as speakers this year.

"Not all NATO members see fit to cooperate with Israel in the session," Ayalon said in response to Davutoglu's gesture.

Davutoglu wrapped up his remarks by saying Turkey is a "staunch advocate of counter-terrorism initiates" and promising that Turkey's "overriding objective will be to mitigate the effects of terrorist acts and to help eradicate this scourge."

Relations between the former allies have been on a downhill slope since last year's confrontation aboard the flagship Mavi Marmara, dispatched by Turkey in May 2010 to break Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Immediately after the U.N.'s Palmer Commission issued its report affirming the blockade under international law, Davutoglu announced they were expelling Israel's ambassador and cutting all military and trade ties, saying "it is time Israel pays a price."

Though Israel would like to repair diplomatic ties with its former ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it "need not apologize for that fact that naval commandos defended their lives against an assault by violent IHH activists."

IHH ((Insani Yardim Vafki)) is a Turkish NGO with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which bills itself as a humanitarian aid organization.

Meanwhile, President Obama met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the U.N. meeting, later praising his "great leadership" and hailing him as a promoter of democracy. 

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