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Olmert apologised to Turkey for Syria raid

Jerusalam - Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has acknowledged for the first time that Israeli warplanes may have violated Turkey's air space during a raid on Syria last month, an official said Sunday.

Olmert apologised to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the two men met in London on Tuesday, the official said.

"If in fact Israeli planes penetrated Turkey's air space it was never meant intentionally or in any event to damage or hurt Turkey's sovereignty which we respect," Olmert said, according to an Israeli official present at the meeting.

During the meeting Olmert "expressed Israel's apologies to the Turkish government and the Turkish people for any damage caused," the official added.

Israel had previously confirmed it launched an air raid against a military target inside Syria on September 6 but has provided no additional details, amid speculation that the target may have been a site storing nuclear materials.

Turkey had demanded an explanation from Israel after it was embarrassed by the discovery of jettisoned fuel tanks on its territory in the aftermath of the raid.

Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said during a visit to Syria that he was astonished by newspaper reports that Turkey had prior notice of the raid and allowed its airspace to be used by the Israeli jets.

Turkey would never allow its territory to be used for an act "hostile to the security of Syria," he said.


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Added: Oct-28-2007 
By: berlin_hamann
Tags: olmert, appoligsed, turkey, syria, raid, state, sponsored, terrorism
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