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Gates Accuses EU of Pushing Turkey Away from West

The EU's refusal to accept Turkey as a member swiftly has partly caused Ankara's foreign policy shift and the deterioration in its relations with Israel, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

"The deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and Israel over the past year or so is a matter of concern," Gates told reporters in London.

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Ahmadinejad Says U.N. Sanctions Should Be 'Thrown in Trash Bin'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led a chorus of defiant Iranian criticism of new U.N. sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic on Wednesday, saying they deserved to be "thrown in the trash bin."

"These resolutions are not worth a dime for the Iranian nation," he said.

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Putin: Israeli Flotilla Raid Must Not Be Repeated, Iran Sanctions Ineffective

Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla for Gaza was a tragedy that demands detailed investigation and must not be repeated, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Agence France Presse in an interview.

"What is especially tragic is that this act was carried out in neutral waters," the Russian prime minister said in a discussion late Monday in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

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Suleiman, Jumblat Helped Achieve 50/50 Vote Balance on Iran Sanctions

Cabinet clearly believed that 50/50 was the fair way to get with less fuss over the issue of voting against or abstain from voting for new U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran.

So a decision not to side with either political camp was taken after Cabinet ministers were equally divided between voting against the U.N. proposal and abstaining from the vote.

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Berri: How was Cabinet's 'No Decision' Interpreted as Abstention?

Speaker Nabih Berri slammed the Lebanese government's "no decision" on U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran, saying Lebanon should have voted against the draft resolution.

"I still insist on my position that I announced at Baabda palace that Lebanon should have voted against sanctions on Iran, which is a friendly country that has stood next to Lebanon," Berri told An Nahar daily in remarks published Thursday.

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