TURKEY REJECTS ISRAEL NATO EXERCISE

COMMENTARY ARCHIVES, 11 Oct 2009

Aljazeera

The Israeli military says Ankara has prevented an annual air force drill in Turkey from taking place because of its demand that there be no Israeli participation.

The annual drill was scheduled to begin on Monday, 12th October, with air forces from the US and Italy.

But according to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, both Washington and Rome withdrew their participation following Turkey’s request to ban Israel from the exercise.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the drill was delayed "indefinitely" because of Turkey’s decision … "not to allow the Israeli air force to take part".

Relations between the two countries have deteriorated sharply since Israel’s winter war on Gaza, when Turkey denounced Israeli conduct during the war.

And Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, cancelled his visit to Israel in September after Israel denied his request to visit the Gaza Strip from Israeli territory.

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