Haaretz: "Turkey wants the UN to tone down its report on the Gaza flotilla raid"
Turkey has asked Israel to agree to changes in a UN report on last year's deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla, since the report is expected to criticize Turkey for the bloody incident, Israeli daily Haaretz reported yesterday. Turkish officials are "very worried" about criticisms of Turkey they expect the report to contain, and want Israel to agree to a softened version as part of a package deal to end the crisis between the two countries over the May 2010 incident, said Haaretz, quoting a senior Israeli official. Haaretz said Ankara's request for Israel to agree to a toned-down version of the UN report was conveyed during a secret meeting between Foreign Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon last week in Geneva. Sinirlioglu told Ya'alon that Turkish-Israeli ties would go back to normal if the report is toned down in line with Turkish demands, and Turkey would finally return its ambassador to Tel Aviv. A draft of the report, due to be released within two weeks, was given to Israel and Turkey about six weeks ago. The UN committee, according to Haaretz, found that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza is in line with international law, and thus Israeli actions to stop the flotilla were also legal.