U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Photo by AP
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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday he was concerned about the deterioration in relations between Turkey and Israel and the implications for regional stability, and expressed hope ties would be re-established over time.


European reluctance to boost links with Turkey played a role in pushing Ankara eastward, Gates told reporters in London.


Israel's relations with Turkey have taken a turn for the worse following Israel's raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists aboard one of the ships.


On Tuesday, Turkey's president Abdullah Gul said that 21 Asian countries meeting at a security summit have denounced Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last week.


Gul said the condemnation showed Israel was isolated and that it "will suffer the consequences for its mistake against Turkey."