World Bulletin / News Desk
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denied the claim that Turkey rejected the Palestinian Authority's request to be granted the status of observer or member state in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
According to the statement made by a senior Turkish diplomat on Sunday, it is not true that Turkey voted against the Palestinian bid at a meeting of OSCE in Monaco last Saturday.
“It is true that the bid was rejected at the end of the meeting. But the Turkish delegation didn't vote against the bid. On the contrary, Turkey's attitude is positive,” said the same diplomat.
Israel Hayom, an Israeli newspaper, stated on Sunday that Turkey rejected the Palestinian proposal for observer or member state status in OSCE.
“In a surprising move, Turkey, a country that has generally voted in favor of Palestinian statehood requests in the international arena, voted against the Palestinian proposal for member state status in OSCE,” states the Israeli newspaper.
According to the information in the newspaper, at the meeting in Monaco, 28 members voted against the bid, 21 voted in favor, with Turkey surprisingly voting against.
According to Israel Radio, officials in the Foreign Ministry expressed the hope that the move was a sign of warming relations between Israel and Turkey.
Israel and Turkey were once close allies, but after the Mavi Marmara incident, relations became strained. Israel troops attacked Turkish-led humanitarian aid convoy to besieged Gaza on May 31, 2010, and killed eight Turkish civilians and a Turkish-American.
Ankara has declared that re-establishing good relations depends on an official apology, compensation for families of the victims and an end to the Gaza blockade. Israel has refused to issue an apology, expressing only regret, claiming that its soldiers acted in self-defense.
According to Israel Hayom, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon did not comment on Turkey's vote against the Palestinian bid.
Israeli Ambassador to Austria Aviv Shiron led a campaign to prevent the Palestinians from obtaining a higher level of recognition in the Austria-based OSCE.
Palestinians have steadily been pursuing recognition from the UN and other international organizations since their bid for full membership in the UN in September 2011 was failed by US threat that has veto power in the Security Council.