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No thaw between Israel and Turkey

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Peres says Turkey tried to impose "totally unacceptable" conditions on a meeting with Gul
  • Relations have been tense since an Israeli raid on a flotilla killed 9 Turkish nationals in May

United Nations (CNN) -- Relations between Israel and Turkey remained icy here Monday as presidents sought to come together on moving toward shared goals for global development.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said that he would not meet this week with Turkey's President Abdullah Gul on the sidelines of the U.N. development summit because Turkey had tried to impose "totally unacceptable" conditions on the meeting.

"I was asked if I would be ready to participate in a plenary organized by the Clinton Initiative where Mr. Gul will also speak," he told reporters here. "I said 'No objection.' Then there was a proposal that President Gul and myself were going to meet. I agreed. But then I got some conditions which made this meeting, in my judgment, not a positive one. Now, we didn't change our attitude to Turkey. We were friends, we remain friends. Maybe Turkey changed her mind. And that's for the Turks to decide. We don't intend to worsen the situation. Neither can we submit to preconditions which are totally unacceptable."

Gul had said Sunday that he would not be able to meet with Peres due to scheduling difficulties, according to Turkey's state-run Anatolia News Agency.

Relations between the two countries have been tense since May, when an Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza killed nine Turkish nationals.