Erdogan: UN Sanctions on Israel Could Aid Mideast Peace Process

In interview with TIME, Turkish Prime Minister says sanctions are promoted when dealing with Iran and Sudan, but taboo with regards to Israel.

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Sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Israel would have resolved the issue of Mideast peace long ago, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview on Monday, adding that he felt the Quartet on the Middle East was not genuinely seeking to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Asked on the steps that could have been taken by the international community to further peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Erdogan reiterated claims made during a recent speech to the United Nations General Assembly, according to which the UN was not acting on anti-Israel resolutions.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoganCredit: Reuters

"Until today, the UN Security Council has issued more than 89 resolutions on prospective sanctions related to Israel, but they've never been executed," Erdogan said, asking: "One might wonder why no sanctions have been imposed on Israel."

"When it's Iran in question, you impose sanctions. Similarly with Sudan. What happens with Israel then?" Erdogan said, adding that had "these sanctions been imposed in this day and age, the Palestine-Israel conflict would have been resolved a long time ago."

The Turkish PM indicated in the Time interview that the reason the international community had stood by without sanctioning Israel was that the Quartet – which includes Russia, the United States, the European Union, and the UN – was not genuinely interested in resolving the Mideast conflict.

Speaking of what he considered to be the Quartet's lack of sincerity in addressing Mideast peace, Erdogan said: "you need to take a sincerity test before you even think of accomplishing this: [Ask yourselves the question], do we really want to resolve this issue or not?"

"Unfortunately, I do not even see the traces this within the Quartet. Because if the Quartet was so willing to resolve this issue, they would have imposed certain issues on Israel today," the Turkish PM said.

"That's why I'd like all the parties involved to be sincere and stand behind those resolutions," Erdogan said.

Erdogan's comments to TIME came amid a continued deterioration of Israel-Turkey ties, over Israel's refusal to apologize for its 2010 raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

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