Russia backs UN demand Israel allow outside flotilla probe

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Russia fully backs the UN Security Council's demands that Israel allow outside participation in a probe into its raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, a foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday.

"We actively support the efforts of the UN and others to organize such an investigation with international presence," spokesman Andrei Nesterenko was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Only such outside participation "will meet the highest world standards, be full, impartial, independent and gain the trust of the international community," he said.

The Israeli raid, which left nine Turks dead, sparked furious responses from many in the international community.

"The death of innocent people is unacceptable. All the details of this tragedy must be subject to an objective investigation," Nesterenko told reporters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed as hypocrisy demands by the UN and several world leaders for a wider probe into the deadly assault, calling the raid a success as it prevented the flotilla from reaching Gaza.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza after the Islamic militant group Hamas came to power there following elections in 2007, in an effort to stop rocket attacks from the territory.

© 2010 AFP

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