Turkey's Foreign Minister has laid the blame for a lack of peace in the Middle East firmly at Israel's door. Ahmet Davutoğlu told a meeting of EU foreign ministers that with its "intransigent policies and arrogance, Israel is ending any hopes for peace in the region." The Minister also said that as the Arab people are now rising up for freedom and democracy, they are also "likely to rise against Israel".
Speaking about the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010, Mr Davutoğlu said that the incident was not a "personal matter between Ankara and Tel Aviv"; it is, he stressed, "between Israel and international rights and ethics, and the international community". He reminded his EU counterparts that there were many European activists on board the Turkish-registered Mavi Marmara which bore the brunt of the Israeli assault.
According to well-informed Turkish sources, Davutoğlu warned the EU that the Arab revolutions could become an uprising against Israel and turn into an "anti-Europe wave". As such, he added, the European Union should avoid dealing with the Arab Spring with the "mentality of the coloniser or the Crusader". Europe should not impose its will by force, said Mr. Davutoğlu. Instead, "The EU should assess the situation against the values of freedom and democracy for which the Arabs are yearning."