Turkey, Egypt, & Tunisia block NATO meeting with Mediterranean partners

The last time the Mediterranean Dialogue met at the foreign ministerial level was 2008

From Serkan Demirtaş, Hurriyet Daily News:  An initiative to bring Israel and six Arab countries’ ministers together under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue group for the first time since 2008 has been nixed by Turkey and Egypt, who said “it was not the right time” for such a meeting.

“The general-secretary was planning to invite the foreign ministers of the Mediterranean Dialogue countries on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting scheduled for April 23 but Turkey objected to the idea,” a Western diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News on the condition of anonymity. . . .

[T]he last time the group met at the foreign ministerial level was 2008 – a reflection of the ongoing dispute between Israel and the Arab world.

Following Israel’s recent apology to Turkey, which created a positive climate in the region and raised prospects for the launching of a new peace process between Palestine and Israel, Western powers wanted to resume the Mediterranean Dialogue meetings at the ministerial level.

“It’s not right that we have objected. This sort of meeting was not held since 2008 because of the political problems between Israel and Arab countries. At this stage, such a meeting would not be useful,” a Turkish official told the Daily News.

In addition, the diplomat underlined that Egypt and Tunisia, two members of the Mediterranean Dialogue, did not want to hold such meeting at this stage either.  (photo: Romania’s Mission to NATO)

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