Turkey's FM expects Israel to free Gaza aid ship 'in days'

Davutoglu said that Turkey expected the technical preparations and return process of Israeli-seized Turkish ships would be completed within a few days.

Turkey's FM expects Israel to free Gaza aid ship 'in days'

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey expected the technical preparations and return process of Israeli-seized Turkish ships would be completed within a few
days.

Israel decided on Friday to give aid ships back to Turkey. It will make required logistic arrangements to set free the three Turkish ships which it seized with a raid on May 31 while the ships were carrying aid to Gaza in coming days. Three Turkish ships have been kept at Israeli ports since May 31.

Davutoglu told reporters that Turkey timely launched necessary initiatives for the release of the seized ships, adding that the ships would be brought back to Turkey with towboats which were kept ready in Turkish southern port Mersin.

Nine people, including eight Turkish and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, were killed when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31. Around 30 people were wounded in the attack.

Israel detained the passengers of the ships for a few days after the raid, and sent the majority of the passengers to Turkey.

The aid in the ships were sent to border crossings to be distributed in Gaza.

"Mavi Marmara" ship has been kept at Haifa port, and the other two Turkish ships "Defne" and "Gazze (Gaza)" at Ashdod port.

Turkey demands international independent panel on aid attack on international waters, rejects Israel's internal probe.

Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador, cancelled joint military exercises, and called for Israel to end its blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians.

Agencies

Related news reports:

Israel says to free Turkish Gaza aid ships held after deadly raid

 

Last Mod: 23 Temmuz 2010, 15:29
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