Turkey and Israel do not need the United States' help in mending their troubled diplomatic ties, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the French news agency AFP on Saturday, ahead of a planned meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ties between Israel and Turkey have taken another turn for the worse recently, as Ankara initiated a series of actions geared at downgrading its diplomatic ties with Jerusalem over Israel's refusal to apologize for its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in 2010.
Speaking to AFP on Saturday, Davutoglu rejected the notion that the U.S. would be able to sway Turkey to back down on its hostilities toward Israel, saying: "We do not need mediation ... for Israel in any way."
Reports on Friday alleged that Obama will meet Erdogan at the UN General Assembly in New York next week to urge the Turkism PM to repair relations with Israel, as tensions continue to rise between the two key U.S. allies in the region.
"There is no such situation in which mediation is needed. The demands of Turkey are clear," Davutoglu added, referring to Turkey's long-standing demand that Israel apologize for the raid as well as pay compensation to the families of the nine Turks killed in the incident.
The Turkish FM insisted that "no one should test our resolve on this matter," adding that the Americans "are probably the people who best understand Turkey's position on this issue."
On Friday, White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes told reporters that Obama also anticipated a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the president's three-day U.N. visit which starts late on Monday.
"We have encouraged Israel and Turkey, two close friends of the United States, to work to bridge their differences, so we'll have an opportunity to discuss those issues," Rhodes told a news briefing.