'Treat Israel with respect.' Lieberman (L) with Norwegian counterpart
'Made a mistake.' Ayalon
Photo: Reuters

Lieberman: Humiliation of Turkish envoy a mistake

FM addresses Jerusalem-Ankara row for first time; says, 'I hope we can bring things back to the way they were,' but claims protest against anti-Israel comments and TV shows was justified. On Palestinian issue: Israel's gesture arsenal drained

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman addressed Israel's diplomatic row with Turkey for the first time on Sunday, saying, "In essence, (Israel's) protest was justified."


However, the FM also said that the public humiliation of the Turkish Ambassador Oguz Celikkol by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was a mistake. "I hope we can bring things back to the way they were," said Lieberman following a meeting in Jerusalem with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere.


"I haven't heard any comments against Israel from the Turkish side. I hope this will continue. We do not seek conflicts, but we will stand our ground. I hope the Turks treat Israel and the Jewish nation as a whole with respect. History has shown us that we cannot allow any other type of behavior," said Lieberman.


"We must keep in mind that Israel's protest followed a number of measures (on Turkey's part) that are not in line with good neighborly relations. There was the incident with (President Shimon) Peres in Davos, the television shows. This is not good-neighborliness," the foreign minister claimed.


"We treat them (Turkey) with dignity and respect, and we expect them to reciprocate. Those who are sensitive to their own national pride must also be sensitive to the national pride of others. This is why Ayalon apologized. He who does not act, does not err."


Addressing the stalled peace negotiations, the FM said, "There will be no more gestures to the Palestinians. We've drained our gesture arsenal. It's time for gestures from the Palestinian side.


"We are willing to resume direct negotiations without preconditions, but they (Palestinians) are trying to impose conditions and are inciting against Israel in the international community," he said. 


פרסום ראשון: 01.17.10, 16:57
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