By Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott reporting from the UN General Assembly
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday urged Turkey not to close the door on mending fences with Israel, amid deteriorating relations between the two countries.
Clinton delivered the message during a meeting with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly
"We want to see them repair their relationship," a senior US official said after the meeting. "She encouraged Turkey to keep the door open."
The official was not authorized to speak on the record about sensitive diplomatic discussions.
Clinton encouraged the Turks "to avoid any steps that would close that door and on the contrary to actively seek ways that they can repair (their) important relationship with Israel," the official said
Turkey has downgraded relations with Israel over Israel's refusal to apologize or pay compensation for eight slain Turks and one Turkish-American. The humanitarian workers and activists were shot dead by Israeli commandos in a botched 2010 raid on an aid convoy that was trying to bust Israel's sea blockade of Gaza.
The US has voiced strong concern about the rift between two of its close allies in the region and Clinton has been urging both sides to resolve their differences in calls with Israeli and Turkish leaders in recent months.
By CNN's Joe Vaccarello
World leaders converge on the United Nations in New York this week for the 66th annual session of the General Assembly. Of 193 member nations, South Sudan being newly inducted this past July, 121 heads of state and government are expected to attend the six-day event.
Here is a helpful Security Clearance viewer's guide to key events this week.
The U.N. kicks off events with a two-day first-ever high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases that cumulatively kill three in five people worldwide. It will focus on combating cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is looking to "broker an international commitment that puts noncommunicable diseases high on the development agenda." FULL POST
By Sr. State Department Producer Elise Labott
Last year during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Barack Obama said he hoped peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians could be concluded within a year so that a Palestinian state could be seated at the next year's General Assembly.
Now, his administration is doing everything it can to prevent that from happening.
Even as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday promised to seek full statehood for the Palestinians before the U.N. Security Council, the Obama administration - along with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Quartet envoy Tony Blair - is urging Abbas to agree on a road ahead that won't lead to the floor of the U.N.. (READ: What's at stake)
The current negotiations center around a Quartet statement of principles, which would lay out the terms of reference for peace negotiations with a one-year timeline for concluding a peace deal. In essence, it restates the ideas President Obama laid out in his May 19 speech on the Arab Spring.
For starters, Israel gets recognition as a Jewish state. The Palestinians get a state along 1967 borders with agreed-upon land swaps and a settlement freeze. Neither side will get everything it wants, but diplomats sense a softening of positions by both parties.
The United States also is trying to avoid being forced into vetoing the resolution if it is brought to the U.N. Security Council, officials said. As an alternative, the U.S. is trying to block Abbas from getting a necessary nine votes in the council, according to U.S. officials and diplomats from several other
Even with a U.S. veto, the knowledge that the resolution had a nine-vote majority would be bad for the administration. Senior U.S. officials and several diplomats say the way the math is adding up; the Palestinians would likely struggle to get to nine. That could convince Abbas to bypass the Security Council and go straight to General Assembly. FULL POST