WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is scrambling to stop ties between U.S. allies Israel and Turkey from deteriorating further.
Relations plummeted with Israel's refusal to apologize for its raid last year on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists.
The State Department said Tuesday that senior American diplomats, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, are working with both countries to "de-escalate" and "defuse" the crisis. Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington is concerned about the state of affairs and believes the two nations must have positive relations.
Turkey has suspended military ties with Israel, expelled top Israeli diplomats and threatened additional actions unless Israel apologizes for the raid. Israel has expressed regret for the loss of lives on the flotilla but will not apologize.
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