Report: Turkey blocks Israel from NATO summit

Turkey blocked the participation of Israel in next month’s NATO Summit in Chicago, a Turkish newspaper reported.

The Mavi Marmara in 2010 photo/ap-ariel schalit

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vetoed Israel’s participation during a NATO foreign ministers meeting last week in Brussels, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“There will be no Israeli presence at the NATO meeting unless they issue a formal apology and pay compensation for the Turkish citizens their commandos killed in international waters,” a senior Turkish official told Hurriyet, referring to the deaths of nine Turkish activists after the Mavi Marmara was intercepted as it attempted to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010.

Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program. Turkey has previously vetoed Israeli attempts to participate more fully in NATO. — jta