Israeli Participation in Upcoming NATO Summit?
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has called on the US government to get Turkey's veto lifted on Israel's participation in an upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago, Today’s Zaman reported on Sunday.
AJC President Robert Elman and AJC Executive Director David Harris wrote a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday saying that the US should not allow Israel, its “most reliable and capable ally in the region,” to be ostracized due to Turkey's position.
“[I]t is our hope that … the political position of one member of this vital 28-nation alliance will not be allowed to hinder strategically advantageous cooperation with Israel -- the Middle East's sole democracy,” Elman and Harris asserted.
“Israel has a unique perspective, and can offer unique insights, on a range of strategic developments on NATO's doorstep, including instability in Syria, the continuing threat posed by Iran's undeterred drive for nuclear weapons capability and political transitions across North Africa,” they added.
Turkey has vetoed Israel’s participation in the upcoming NATO summit scheduled to take place in Chicago and has maintained that NATO-Israel relations cannot be restored until Turkey-Israel relations are normalized.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said Turkey will not allow Israel, a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, to take part in the alliance's new Partnership Cooperation Menu (PCM).
Furthermore, Ankara has objected to EU participation in the Chicago summit unless the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is also authorized to participate. “If non-NATO members are also participating, the OIC should be represented [at the Chicago summit] first and foremost,” a Turkish diplomatic source told Today's Zaman last week.