Gul cancels meeting with Peres reportedly over flotilla


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Turkey’s president canceled a meeting with Shimon Peres because Israel has not apologized for the flotilla incident, the Israeli president told reporters.

Peres and Adbullah Gul were scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly opening session, but Gul said Monday that the meeting was canceled because of his tight schedule.

Peres told reporters Monday that he was told that an apology was a precondition to holding the meeting with Gul. The meeting was canceled after Peres said he would not apologize, according to reports.

Gul is scheduled to meet with leaders of several countries, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Turkish leader also said Monday that "we will not forgive Israel for those killed in the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla, even if Israel apologizes," according to the state Anatolia news agency.

Israel has not apologized for the May 31 flotilla incident, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed when Israeli commandoes boarded a ship attempting to break the naval blockade of Gaza.

Gul, Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to be part of a panel during their visit to the United Nations, Haaretz reported.

Also Monday, the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv received an envelope containing an unknown white powder. No one was injured and the powder was taken for analysis, according to reports.

The suspicious substance comes one week after three envelopes carrying white powder, accompanied by a letter threatening Israel, were received at the Tel Aviv embassies of the United States, Spain and Sweden.

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