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Turkey recalls ambassador from Israel

Turkey recalls ambassador from Israel

by host

The move is the latest step Turkey has taken to distance itself from Israel, however, it does not appear to represent a full severing of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Complete disconnection is not possible, especially in international diplomacy,” Erdogan said. “But Netanyahu bears the main responsibility for the violence. What he needs to do is take a step back and stop it.”

Israel’s ambassador to Ankara, Irit Lillian, left Turkey in October following a warning from Israel’s National Security Council against travel to Turkey, citing fears that Israelis could be targeted by protesters.

“In view of the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by the continuing attacks by Israel against civilians, and Israel’s refusal of calls for ceasefire and continuous and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid, it was decided to recall our Ambassador in Tel Aviv, H.E. Mr. Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, to Ankara for consultations,” the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Turkey’s statement comes within hours of an announcement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he would visit Turkey as part of his extended recent travels to the region.

A State Department news release Saturday morning outlined Blinken’s goals in Turkey as underscoring “the importance of protecting civilian lives in Israel and the Gaza Strip,” including humanitarian assistance.

The statement also emphasized Blinken’s goal to “reduce regional tensions and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to working with partners to set the conditions necessary for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East, to include the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

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