U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference after meeting with Foreign Minister of Romania Teodor Baconschi at the State Department in Washington, June 1, 2010.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for „careful, thoughtful” responses to Israel’s attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla, ignoring Turkey’s demands for outright condemnation of the deadly assault.

Clinton, speaking amid a crisis that has poisoned ties between two close U.S. allies and could imperil moves to relaunch the Middle East peace process, indicated the United States would not quickly join the international outcry against Israel over Monday’s attack.

„I think the situation from our perspective is very difficult and requires careful, thoughtful responses from all concerned,” Clinton said hours after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had demanded Washington take a clear stand against Israel’s actions.

Clinton reiterated U.S. support for a U.N. Security Council statement on Monday that condemned acts leading to the deaths of civilians in Monday’s attack and called for an impartial investigation.

„We support an Israeli investigation that meets those criteria. We are open to different ways of ensuring a credible investigation including international participation,” Clinton said, without elaborating.

Davutoglu earlier told reporters that Turkey — an important U.S. ally on issues ranging from Middle East peace to the war in Afghanistan — was disappointed that the United States had not offered stronger backing.

„Some of our allies are not ready to condemn the Israeli actions,” Davutoglu said, comparing the incident to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

„We expect full solidarity with us,” he said. „It should not be a choice between Turkey and Israel. It should be a choice between right and wrong.”

International fury over the flotilla attack has created a tough balancing act for the Obama administration, particularly with Turkey, a key NATO ally seen by Washington as a secular Muslim power that can counter Islamic militancy in the region.

Clinton stressed deep U.S. regret for the loss of life and injuries and said the United States would work with both Turkey and Israel to deal with the aftermath of the incident.

She also urged Israel to permit full consular access to the individuals involved and to allow countries to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately.

Read the article on Reuters

U.S. moves cautiously on Israel flotilla crisis

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference after meeting with Foreign Minister of Romania Teodor Baconschi at the State Department in Washington, June 1, 2010.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for „careful, thoughtful” responses to Israel’s attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla, ignoring Turkey’s demands for outright condemnation of the deadly assault.

Clinton, speaking amid a crisis that has poisoned ties between two close U.S. allies and could imperil moves to relaunch the Middle East peace process, indicated the United States would not quickly join the international outcry against Israel over Monday’s attack.

„I think the situation from our perspective is very difficult and requires careful, thoughtful responses from all concerned,” Clinton said hours after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had demanded Washington take a clear stand against Israel’s actions.

Clinton reiterated U.S. support for a U.N. Security Council statement on Monday that condemned acts leading to the deaths of civilians in Monday’s attack and called for an impartial investigation.

„We support an Israeli investigation that meets those criteria. We are open to different ways of ensuring a credible investigation including international participation,” Clinton said, without elaborating.

Davutoglu earlier told reporters that Turkey — an important U.S. ally on issues ranging from Middle East peace to the war in Afghanistan — was disappointed that the United States had not offered stronger backing.

„Some of our allies are not ready to condemn the Israeli actions,” Davutoglu said, comparing the incident to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

„We expect full solidarity with us,” he said. „It should not be a choice between Turkey and Israel. It should be a choice between right and wrong.”

International fury over the flotilla attack has created a tough balancing act for the Obama administration, particularly with Turkey, a key NATO ally seen by Washington as a secular Muslim power that can counter Islamic militancy in the region.

Clinton stressed deep U.S. regret for the loss of life and injuries and said the United States would work with both Turkey and Israel to deal with the aftermath of the incident.

She also urged Israel to permit full consular access to the individuals involved and to allow countries to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately.

Read the article on Reuters

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