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Official Says Turkey To 'Reduce' Ties With Israel

Turkish officials say Ankara is "serious" about reducing ties with Israel over this week's deadly raid on a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza -- a raid that killed nine mostly Turkish citizens.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told parliament "new cooperation will not start and relations with Israel will be reduced."

Turkey is sending planes to Israel today to bring home the last five activists injured in the sea raid, which has sparked new calls for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza.

Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair today called the blockade "counterproductive."

U.S. President Barack Obama said on June 3 that the flotilla incident should show the Israelis and Palestinians that the "status quo is unsustainable."

compiled from agency reports