Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed anger at Wednesday's clandestine meeting between Minister of Trade, Industry and Labor Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Europe.
"The foreign minister did not know about the meeting," Lieberman's office responded. "He considers it a serious matter that the meeting took place without the Foreign Ministry being informed. It is a violation of all normal procedures. It undermines the trust between the foreign minister and the prime minister. The foreign minister intends to clarify the incident."
The meeting was held with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's consent, but Lieberman was kept in the dark.
The Prime Minister's Office clarified Wednesday evening that Ben-Eliezer had informed Netanyahu about a Turkish request for an unofficial meeting.
The prime minister saw no reason to prevent such a meeting since there have been various initiatives to establish contact with Turkey in recent weeks with the knowledge of the foreign minister, it said.
The reason Lieberman was not told of this particular meeting was technical, it continued, and added that the prime minister works in complete cooperation with the foreign minister.
Ben-Eliezer's office refused to comment on the meeting, which was the first between and Israeli minister and a senior Turkish official since the deadly May 31 commando raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish ship.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this week thatTurkey remains “a friend to Israel,” but added that the government under Prime Minister Netanyahu is “the biggest barrier to peace” in the Middle East.
In an in interview with PBS television’s Charlie Rose aired late Monday, Erdogan called on the US to take a leading role in dealing with the aftermath of Israel’s May 31 commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, during which nine Turkish nationals were killed.
"The US administration should take ownership of the situation because there was an American involved,” Erdogan said, referring to Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old American- Turkish dual citizen who was killed on board the Mavi Marmara vessel.
A day prior to the PBS interview, the Turkish leader said his country had closed its airspace to Israeli military flights following the raid.