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Israel Seeks Calm with Turkey, But Not at Any Price

Israel wants to calm a fierce row that has erupted with one-time ally Turkey over a 2010 raid on an aid flotilla, but not at any cost, including issuing an apology, ministers and officials said Sunday.

In recent days, ties between the once-friendly nations appear to have plumbed new depths, with Ankara expelling Israel's ambassador and suspending military agreements in the wake of a U.N. report on the deadly 2010 raid.

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Ban: Improvement of Turkish-Israeli Ties Important for Peace Process

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Saturday said he sincerely hoped that Israel and Turkey could improve ties, saying both states were critical to improving stability in the Middle East.

"I sincerely hope that Israel and Turkey will improve their relationship," Ban told reporters in Canberra after Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador to Ankara and suspended all military ties with its one-time ally.

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Israel Will Not Apologize for Flotilla Raid

Israel will not apologize for its deadly 2010 raid on a Turkish-led flotilla of Gaza aid ships, an Israeli diplomatic source said Friday after a U.N. report accused the Jewish state of using excessive force.

"Israel once again expresses its regrets for the loss of human life but there will be no apology for this operation," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

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Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador over Gaza Flotilla

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador to Ankara on Friday and suspended all military ties with its one-time ally after a U.N. report condemned excessive force used by Israel on a Gaza aid flotilla.

"At this point the measures we are taking are: The relations between Turkey and Israel will be downgraded to second secretary level. All officials over the level of second secretary, primarily the ambassador, will turn back to their country at the latest on Wednesday," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at a press conference.

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Official: Israel to Accept U.N. Flotilla Report with 'Reservations'

Israel will accept the United Nations report on its deadly attack last year on a Turkish-led flotilla of aid boats for the Gaza Strip with some reservations, a senior official said Friday.

"We will announce our acceptance of the report after its official publication, with specific reservations," the official who declined to be identified told Agence France Presse.

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Turkey Agrees to Host NATO Early Warning Radar

Turkey has agreed to host an early warning radar as part of NATO's missile defense system aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from neighboring Iran, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday.

A ministry statement emailed to journalists said discussions on NATO-member Turkey's contribution to the alliance missile defense shield had reached "their final stages."

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HRW Slams Turkey, Iran Attacks in North Iraq

Turkey and Iran have not done enough to protect civilians while carrying out strikes against Kurdish separatists in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

"The evidence suggests that Turkey and Iran are not doing what they need to do to make sure their attacks have a minimum impact on civilians, and in the case of Iran, it is at least quite possibly deliberately targeting civilians," Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, said in a statement on Friday.

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Erdogan Urges Syria to 'Silence Arms Immediately'

Turkey's prime minister called Sunday for an end to the bloody crackdown on protestors in Syria, warning the regime could face the same fate as recently ousted governments in the Arab world.

"A regime cannot survive by force, brutality, by shooting and killing unarmed people taking to the streets. The only solution is to silence arms immediately and listen to the demands of the people," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised address to the nation.

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Turkey Says Has Lost Confidence in Syrian Regime

Turkey has lost confidence in the Syrian regime as its deadly crackdown on protestors continues, the Anatolia news agency quoted President Abdullah Gul as saying on Sunday.

"Actually (the situation in Syria) reached a level that everything is too little, too late. We lost our confidence," Gul told Anatolia in an interview to mark his fourth year in office, referring to unfulfilled promises Syria's President Bashar al-Assad had made to halt the onslaught.

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Davutoglu in Benghazi as Fighting Rages Outside Gadhafi’s Compound

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday to meet rebel governing council chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, an Agence France Presse journalist said.

Davutoglu arrived Tuesday morning in the rebel bastion, even as Moammar Gadhafi's forces staged a fightback in Tripoli against insurgents who had surged into the capital on Sunday.

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