Turkey criticizes Israel's nuke program


ANKARA, Turkey, March 14 (UPI) -- Turkey is deviating from its allies Israel and the United States by saying both Iran and Israel's nuclear programs threaten the region.

The Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported on March 13 that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told the ruling Justice and Development Party's Sixth Consultation and Assessment Meeting in Kizilcahamam over the weekend, "The Israelis say that they don't have a nuclear program. But 25-30 years ago, people were saying that Israel had a nuclear program. If Iran's is dangerous, Israel's is dangerous too. All countries should be open to UN inspection."

Further straining Turkey's ties with the United States and Israel, Gul said that European Union leaders appreciated Turkey's position when a Hamas delegation visited Turkey in February. Gul told his audience that the EU leaders had praised Ankara's "great courage."

Gul also commented on Turkey's Iraqi policy, adding, "We convinced Sunnis in Iraq to take part in the elections. Otherwise, Iraq was about to fall apart. Now, there isn't such a risk," he said.