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Turkey Not Likely to Break Diplomatic Relations with Israel

Turkey is not likely to break diplomatic relations with Israel despite a call for such an action by the Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference in Istanbul last week. Informed Middle East sources here point out that Israel and Turkey enjoy full diplomatic relations. Missions in each country are headed by ministers, and the Israeli envoy in Ankara enjoys the personal rank of ambassador.

The operative sentence in the Istanbul communique said that “the conference calls on all countries to consider their responsibilities, in particular to refrain from helping Israel to break off relations with it.” While Turkey may possibly “consider” the matter, as the communique requires, a decision to carry it out is regarded at best as “highly premature.”

While eager to gather Third World and Arab support over the Cyprus issue, Turkey remains a member of NATO, considers Middle East problems in a broad context, and has always made a point of having relations with both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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