In his address to an Arab League forum in Cairo on Tuesday (Sept. 13), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated recognition of the State of Palestine is an obligatory move, calling on the international community to do just that.
The Turkish leader was referring to the scheduled PA (Palestinian Authority) unilateral declaration of statehood at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly later this month. The move appears to enjoy widespread support, but the White House has signaled President Barak Obama will order a veto in the Security Council. Even without America’s support, which is most significant, it appears PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is comfortable enough with the realization that he will have some 160 or more countries worldwide raising its hand in support for the move, and he appears to be determined to move ahead towards creating facts on the ground.
Regarding Israel, Erdogan told he colleagues in the Arab League that he remains ready for any and all eventualities, adding “We are people whose past and future are determined by God… Israel continues seeking to justify its legitimate claim in the region while it continues taking steps jeopardizing its legitimacy”. In his reference to the Government of Israel, Erdogan used the term “aggressive”, blaming Israel for attacking a humanitarian aid vessel – the Marmara terrorist ship that was intercepted by Israel naval commandos as it tried to break the siege on Gaza.
“Regarding regional peace, the barrier is the mentality of the Israeli government”, the Turkish prime minister added. Erdogan once again stated there would be no resumption of relations with Israel until Jerusalem apologizes for the Marmara.
Hours after the Turkish media reported that Erdogan gave the air force an order to reclassify Israel Air Force F-16s as non-friendly, signaling any incursion into Turkish air space by a military aircraft may result in anti-aircraft fire, he addressed the Arab summit in his new role and the newcomer to the Islamic extremist community, rapidly earning the respect of his Arab brethren.
Responding to the press while visiting Israel’s southern border on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated “common sense and cold confidence” are working in our favor, signaling he remains hopeful relations between Israel and its former ally will be renewed.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)