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Turkish PM: Israel could lose Turkish friendship

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel should consider "what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned.

Erdogan made the threat Sunday in an interview with Euronews, according to reports.

“We have important ongoing agreements between us," the Turkish leader said. "How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbors if it believes it is a world power.”

Erdogan referred in the interview to the treatment of his country’s ambassador by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who called in the envoy earlier this month and publicly humiliated him over a Turkish television series that portrayed Israeli soldiers as baby killers.

He added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed a diplomatic faux pas by saying recently that he does not trust Erdogan, but rather puts his trust in French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"We have done our best for Israel-Syria relations, but now we see Benjamin Netanyahu saying ‘I do not trust Erdogan, but I trust Sarkozy’. Do you have to give a name? This is diplomatic inexperience, too, because when you say this … How can I trust you if you say you don’t trust me?" Erdogan told Euronews.

The relationship between Turkey and Israel has deteriorated since last winter’s Gaza war, when Erdogan criticized Israel’s actions against Hamas.
 

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