Turkey-Israel: Turkey and Israel no longer have the same strategic closeness as in the past, although some common strategic issues continue, Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said today and Ynet reported. Speaking to members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Yadlin said Turkey no longer needs strategic closeness with Israel. Turkey is moving from a secular approach to what he called a “radical direction,” an apparent reference to Turkey’s outreach to Islamic states, including Iran, Lebanon and Syria.
Sudan: President Omar al Bashir said today that his government would accept secession by the southern Sudanese, provided the southerners voted for independence in a referendum next year.
Speaking at a ceremony marking five years since the end of the north-south war, he said his Northern Congress Party did not want the south to secede, but said the party would be the first to welcome such a decision. This is an unusually conciliatory tone considering that much of Sudan’s oil wealth is in southern Sudan.
In response the president of Southern Sudan, Salva Kirri, said “The north and south will continue to be economically and politically connected whatever the choice of the people of Southern Sudan.,”
Comment: it is difficult to accept Bashir’s promises at face value and the date for a referendum has not yet been announced.
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