Israel condemns Turkish mediation tactics

By AP | Monday, 16 November 2009

JERUSALEM (AP)-Turkey would not be an "honest broker" in any renewed peace talks with Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, adding that the Turkish prime minister was not a "fair mediator."

Turkey mediated four rounds of indirect talks last year between Israel and Syria. Ties between Israel and Turkey have deteriorated since then, and Turkey's prime minister has harshly attacked Israeli policies. The worsened ties between the two allies have clouded the Ankara government's role as a regional mediator.

Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that Israel was prepared to talk with Syria, preferably directly, according to a participant who spoke on condition of anonymity because of government regulations.

Netanyahu said that if talks take place through a mediator, then it should be "an honest broker," according to the same participant. He quoted Netanyahu as saying that the Turkish premier was not a "fair mediator."