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December 5, 2011 6:39 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Ayalon Anticipates “Normal” Relations with Turkey

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Deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon. Photo: Shahar Azran.

In an exclusive interview with the Algemeiner, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon discussed the urgent need to reestablish “normal” diplomatic relations with Turkey saying “it in Israel’s Interest, Turkey’s interest and America’s interest.”  We anticipate, he continued “that relations will get back to normal.”

Asked by the Algemeiner to define “normal,” the DFM listed a range of conditions including “reestablishment of the strategic partnership” between the two countries,  exchange of Ambassadors, and “a real rapprochement.”

Noting that trade between the two countries has continued unabated and has, in fact, significantly increased during the period of the “feud,” Ayalon said he looked forward to economic, scientific, academic and political cooperation between the two countries. “Cooler heads and wisdom will prevail,” predicted Ayalon.

Iran, said the Deputy Foreign Minister, was “by far the single most dangerous threat to the region and beyond,” a situation of concern both to Israel and to the United States. Ayalon noted that “the United States always was and will be our best friend” saying the strong relationship between America and Israel is a “friendship based on ethics, ethos and interests.” Recent meetings in Washington, DC have “again proven how close we are and how much we are in unison” he said.

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Asked about Israeli relations with Muslim countries, Ayalon recounted Israel’s strong diplomatic ties which countries across the religious spectrum including Nigeria, Bosnia, Albania (all Moslem majority countries,) India, and China. “Anyone who claims Israel is isolated does not know what he is talking about,” he concluded. Among the criteria of cooperation he included trade and investments, and cultural, scientific, conference and academic exchanges.

Said Ayalon, “Anyone who tries to inject religion into conflict is making a political mistake.” He noted that this tactic had been used by Arafat and was being continued by Abu Mazen.”

Commenting on the United Nations, Ayalon acknowledged that Israel is often isolated in that world of diplomacy. The UN, he said “exists in an unreal world,” where even the votes of Western nations – reliant on Arab countries for up to 70% of their oil – can be “hijacked” by the ability of the “automatic Arab majority, to exert pressure, especially in areas involving energy.”

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