Diplomacy

Obama Gives Turkey Arms-Deal Ultimatum

President Obama is whipping out the diplomatic stick with Turkey: The Financial Times reports that Obama has personally warned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey has little hope of purchasing drone aircraft from the United States unless its government softens its stance toward Israel and takes a harder line on Iran. “The president has said to Erdogan that some of the actions that Turkey has taken have caused questions to be raised on the Hill [Congress] … about whether we can have confidence in Turkey as an ally,” senior administration officials tell the FT. Turkey spoke harshly about Israel after the latter’s botched raid on an aid ship bound for Gaza; it also voted against U.N. sanctions on Iran. Turkey wants the drones to attack Kurdish separatists after the U.S. withdraws from Iraq in 2011.