Tags: Gaza Cameron Israel

UK's Cameron Compares Gaza to Prison Camp

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:39 AM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey — Israel's May 31 interception of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla was "completely unacceptable," British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday during an address to Turkish businessmen.

In a reference to Israel's blockade of the Strip, he said: "Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."

He also commented that the world needs Turkey's help in pushing Iran to address international concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Cameron went on to declare that Britain was a staunch backer of Turkey's troubled bid to join the European Union. His visit early in his term was a measure of Britain's acknowledgment of Turkey as a critical ally in a conflict-prone region, much as US President Barack Obama traveled to Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member, in 2009 to boost a partnership despite differences on key issues.

Cameron's strong reference to the flotilla was likely to please his Turkish hosts, though he said an Israeli inquiry into the May 31 incident should be swift and transparent. That comment differed from Turkey's public stance that any inquiry should be international.

New EU and Canadian sanctions, targeting Iran's foreign trade, banking and energy sectors, were taken Monday in an attempt to thwart Iran's nuclear program. The EU's measures also blacklist Iran's shipping and air cargo companies.

"New sanctions the EU announced yesterday are designed to persuade Iran to give the international community confidence that its nuclear program really is peaceful as Iran claimed," Cameron said.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Gaza Cameron Israel
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:39 AM
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