Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Peres talking to reporters in the UN headquarters in NewYork.


Hours after the Turkish President Abdullah Gul had said that he had no time to meet his Israeli counterpart; Shimon Peres said on Monday that he declined to meet Gul because he set conditions which Israel could not accept as tensions between the two countries remain high.

Speaking to reporters after his presentation to the United Nations General Assembly, Peres said the real reason for not holding the meeting was that Gul had been told that there would be no apology which had been a condition for the two leaders to get together in the first place.

"There was a proposal that President (Abdullah) Gul and myself would meet. I agreed. But then I got conditions which made this meeting, in my judgement, not a possibility," Peres told reporters.

On Monday morning, Gul clarified that he would not be meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in New York due to a tight schedule.

He added, however, that "we will not forgive Israel for those killed in the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla, even if Israel apologizes." His remarks were quoted by Turkey's official Anatolia news agency.

Ties between Turkey and Israel were strained following Israel's 2008-2009 Gaza offensive. Tensions have risen after Israeli commandos in May stormed Gaza-bound aid ships, killing nine Turkish activists.

Turkey has also demanded that the zionist entity lift its crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip in order to mend ties.

Peres also described the Turkish conditions as "unacceptable".

"We do not intend to worsen the situation, but neither can we agree to preconditions that are totally unacceptable," Peres added to reporters.

Sources: Associated Press, AFP

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