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Turkey PM: Ankara Blocked NATO Cooperation With Israel

Turkey has blocked NATO initiatives designed to enhance the alliance’s cooperation with Israel, according to statements made this week by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Substantively, the claims are likely to cause frustration in Washington and elsewhere, as NATO cooperation with regional allies is seen as crucial to the U.S.’s ability to project power into the Eastern Mediterranean. Diplomatically, Erdogan’s statements echo recent boasts by Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz to the effect that Turkey had once prevented Israel and Cyprus from contributing to international efforts designed to promote renewable energies. They are likely to be seen as evidence of a systematic Turkish campaign to isolate the Jewish state at the expense of regional stability and development.