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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs