US warns Turkey against new flotilla to Gaza
The US has been very clear with the Turkish government that a new flotilla would in no way be helpful; Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency to a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs on Wednesday. Organizers of an international flotilla say they are planning to depart for Gaza in June to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians in breach of an Israeli blockade of the coastal strip. Gordon noted that Israel had eased the blockade of Gaza since last year’s incident and added that those who want to deliver aid to Gaza should try other routes approved by the Israeli government. Responding to a comment from a senator during the hearing that implicit or direct support from the Turkish government for a new flotilla would not help Turkish-US ties, Gordon told the senator that he agreed. Gordon lamented that the Mavi Marmara incident had led to deterioration in ties between Turkey and Israel; two close US allies, and said the US was working to ensure the two countries overcome their disputes.