News / Middle East

Kerry Trip Focuses on Israel-Turkey Relations

Kerry Trip Focuses on Israel-Turkey Relationsi
X
April 05, 2013 6:21 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to the Middle East with planned stops in Istanbul along with Jerusalem and Ramallah. The trip is designed to solidify progress after U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the region ended a Turkish-Israeli diplomatic deadlock. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington.

Kerry Trip Focuses on Israel-Turkey Relations

Meredith Buel

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the Middle East Saturday with planned stops in Istanbul along with Jerusalem and Ramallah. The trip is designed to solidify progress after U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the region ended a Turkish-Israeli diplomatic deadlock.
 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently apologized to Turkey for a deadly 2010 maritime commando raid in a gesture brokered by President Obama designed to restore diplomatic relations between the two strategic U.S. allies.


The bilateral relationship severely deteriorated after nine Turkish activists were killed during an Israeli attack on a Turkish flotilla bound for Gaza.


Turkey accepted the apology.


President Obama hailed the breakthrough. "I have long said that it is in both the interest of Israel and Turkey to restore normal relations between two countries that have historically had good ties," Obama said.


Kerry is expected to continue efforts to improve relations between Ankara and Israel in a trip to both nations.


"Given the situation in the region right now, given Turkey’s problems with Iraq, with Syria and with Iran and given Israel’s very, very difficult situation with Iran and generally in the Arab Spring, so therefore this is a very important strategic step," said James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey who is now a visiting fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


While in Istanbul, Kerry will also discuss the civil war in Syria.


Turkey, which shares a 900-kilometer border with Syria, is a crucial nation backing the Syrian opposition.


"This is a very, very good development, his going back to the region. It is very good that he is bringing Turkey in. It is not just Syria. It is also Iraq, and it is Iran. These are very existential issues for Turkey, and we need to be better coordinated," Jeffrey said.


Kerry will also visit Jerusalem and Ramallah as the Obama administration tries to end the stalemate over peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.


The Palestinians want a halt to the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, while Israel says talks should resume without preconditions.


"The Secretary and the President have both said there is an urgent window for the parties to come back to the table, that we are prepared to support them in that, but we can’t do more than they’re willing to do themselves," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.


Palestinian protesters have been clashing with Israeli security forces over the recent deaths of two demonstrators and the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails - issues likely to be raised by Palestinian leaders during Kerry's visit.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Old Turkish Soldier from: Turkey
April 06, 2013 7:22 PM
I agree with Dr. Hanz that Military has great respect for Israel. and that Mavi Marmara terrorists and hooligans were helped by the Turkish Islamic government and not by the Turkish military. however, the Islamic Gülen movement is in structure like the Nazi party Baath Party like the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization and they are killing all dissenters in the Military - ALL !! so, I don't think the military is strong enough to take over Government in Turkey. everybody is afraid EVERYBODY... !!! and we all know what comes next - civil war


by: Steve McCullen from: Ireland
April 06, 2013 11:43 AM
A military takeover in Turkey will be a very welcomed news to many in Europe. not only will it bring forth a more coherent geopolitical orientation, draw Turkey away from the revolting influence of Saudi Arabia and Qatar on Turkey Islamist fanatics, but it will pull back Turkey's debacle in Syria.


by: Barney Rubble
April 06, 2013 4:37 AM
"while Israel says talks should resume without preconditions."
really ? Israel is happy for talks to carry out with Palestinians who fire rockets and do not accept in advance Israel's claim to statehood ?
I think not - you probably meant Israel wants talks with concurrent hoovering up of the remains of Palestine's land.


by: Dr. Hanz from: Germany
April 05, 2013 8:29 PM
the suppression of Turkey military command by Erdogan has worried many in the EU, since they are the guardians of secular Turkish tradition. However as Turkey reverted to extreme Islamism, the consensus in Europe is that the US should not facilitate "improved" relation between Turkey and Israel. Turkey's economy is deteriorating at a faster rate than any reversal of the global economy is predicted to reverse... we all know that the Turkish military establishment has very strong relations with Israel... and we believe they will eventually take over the Islamist government in Ankara.

In Response

by: Frank Romano from: usa
April 06, 2013 11:16 AM
There is a major flaw in the Dr’s thinking the military may have close ties with Israel but so did the Military in Egypt it took the Muslim Brotherhood a short period of time to replace the Generals who might have complained. The Islamics control with fear wherever they spawn they conquer

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid