A senior Israeli official said that over a month ago
the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry contacted his Israeli
counterpart Yossi Gal, and offered to arrange a visit by the Turkish
foreign minister to Israel.
The Turkish official asked Gal about the possibility of a visit to
Gaza and Gal told him that he would be welcomed warmly in Israel but
that a visit to the Gaza Strip would "not be helpful".
A few weeks later, Turkish offices again tried to bring up the
issue of a visit to Gaza and Turkey's Ambassador to Israel Namik Tan
met with Gal and told him that Davutoglu received an invite to the
Presidents' Conference in October and was weighing whether to attend.
The Turkish ambassador asked if a trip to Gaza during that time would
The decision was later made in the Foreign Ministry that if the
Turkish foreign minister's trip to Israel were to include a visit to
the Gaza Strip, the request would have to be refused.
A top Israel official said "Turkish leadership during Operation Cast Lead did not encourage us to agree to this request."
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