Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Israel's Lieberman won't quit on apology to Turkey

(Reuters) - Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday he would not quit the coalition government if it decides to apologize to Turkey for killing nine Turks aboard a pro-Palestinian activist ship last year.

Lieberman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's most powerful and hawkish partner, has scorned meeting Ankara's demand that Israel atone for storming the Mavi Marmara as it tried to breach the blockade on the Gaza Strip at the head of an aid flotilla.

But after Israeli officials said Netanyahu might relent after long balking at an apology, Lieberman denied having any plan to resign or withdraw his party in protest.

"Whether or not there is agreement in the government about this matter, this government is strong," he told reporters. "No one is looking for excuses and reasons to leave the government."

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