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  • 12/3/2011

Israel faces growing isolation: Panetta

us secretary of defense leon panetta

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned that Israel is facing growing “isolation”‌ in the Middle East, urging the regime to take diplomatic steps to address the issue.

"Over the past year, we’ve seen Israel’s isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow," Panetta said on Friday at an event organized by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for the Middle East.

He added that Tel Aviv should "mend fences" with Egypt and Turkey and renew Palestinian-Israeli talks to end its isolation, AFP reported.

Panetta acknowledged that Tel Aviv was facing an "international campaign" designed to isolate the regime.

“The pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace has effectively been put on hold," he said, adding that the Israeli regime needs "to lean forward on efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians."

Turkey, however, says it will not hold talks with Israel unless Tel Aviv apologizes and pays compensation for its attack on an aid convoy, headed for the blockaded Gaza Strip, in international waters on May 31, 2010, that left nine Turkish nationals dead.

In October, Israel formally apologized to Egypt for the killing of six Egyptian border guards in an attack in August that sparked a diplomatic row between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but the situation has drastically changed since February when Israel’s staunch ally, former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, was toppled in a popular revolution.

A number of Egyptian political parties are now calling for changes to the peace treaty, as public opinion in the North African country is further growing opposed to the deal.

Tel Aviv has launched several wars against regional countries during the past decades. Since 1948, Middle Eastern nations have considered the regime that occupies Palestine to be a regional pariah.

Source: presstv.com

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