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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Ahmet Davutoğlu
Turkey's recent decision to go with China over the U.S. to buy its first long-range anti-missile system has rankled the U.S., a NATO ally, but the decision was based on objective criteria, not politics, the Turkish foreign minister said Monday.
The Obama administration assumed a careful posture Wednesday toward the uprisings that have engulfed cities across Turkey, where authorities are seeking to calm protests that erupted when police cracked down on demonstrators earlier this week.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday urged Turkey to speed up and cement an American-brokered rapprochement with Israel, and he explored with Palestinian officials new ways to relaunch Mideast peace efforts.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry urged Turkish leaders Sunday to speedily restore full diplomatic relations with Israel, two American allies the U.S. sees as anchors of stability in a Middle East wracked by Syria's civil war, Arab Spring political upheavals and the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday railed against the "cowardly" terrorists responsible for the attack that killed five Americans in Afghanistan, including a "selfless, idealistic" young diplomat on a mission to donate books to students.
Turkey and Germany on Friday threw their weight behind calls for a Syrian cease-fire during a Muslim holiday next week as the international envoy for the conflict arrived in Damascus to push for the plan.
Turkey has barred its airspace to Syrian civilian flights, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday.
Turkey's prime minister sharply criticized the U.N. Security Council on Saturday for its failure to agree on decisive steps to end Syria's civil war, as NATO ally Germany backed the Turkish interception of a Damascus-bound passenger jet earlier in the week.
Gunmen detonated back-to-back roadside bombs and clashed with police in central Damascus Saturday in attacks that caused no damage but highlighted the ability of rebels to breach the intense security near President Bashar Assad's power bases.
NATO leaders will meet this week to discuss whether or how to respond to Syria's downing of a Turkish jet in what Turkey insists was international airspace.
NATO ambassadors will discuss this week whether to respond to Syria's downing of a Turkish jet in what Turkey insists was international airspace, although the likelihood of any military action by the alliance is low. The plane's downing has further increased regional tensions over the conflict in Syria, where some 40 people were said to have died Sunday in new clashes between rebels and regime forces.
Arab and Turkish officials slammed talk of a military strike against Iran, saying Sunday it would be a disaster for the region and calling for renewed negotiations, while also urging the international community to keep pressure on Syria to end the bloodshed there.
Israel acted lawfully but excessively when it intercepted a Turkish vessel seeking to breach the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip last year, according to a long-awaited U.N. report on a skirmish that resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish activists and the collapse of the Israeli-Turkish alliance.
Syria's president held talks with neighboring Turkey's foreign minister Tuesday as the regime faced a chorus of global reproach, with envoys from India, Brazil and South Africa also heading to Damascus to press for an end to the violent crackdown on a five-month-old uprising.
Turkey's foreign minister recognized Libya's rebel leaders as the country's legitimate representatives and promised them an additional $200 million in aid during a visit Sunday.
"Of course you always prefer to have defense systems from our allies, from NATO, and especially from the United States," Mr. Davutoglu said. "[But] we expect joint production by our allies."
The decision was made because the U.S. refuses to jointly-produce the system, which is the top requirement for Turkey, he told a small group of reporters at the Turkish Embassy Monday afternoon.