Lieberman. Swallowing insult and moving on?
Photo: Reuters

PM, FM reconcile following insult

In prescheduled meeting, Netanyahu and Lieberman discuss Minister Ben-Eliezer's meeting with Turkish foreign minister which was kept from Lieberman, agree to continue working together in full cooperation. 'Apologizing or agreeing to compensate flotilla casualties will only hurt Israel,' FM says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met Friday morning on the backdrop of the latter's anger over the covert meeting between Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.


According to officials, the two agreed that keeping the meeting from Lieberman was a mistake and that they would continue working together in full cooperation.


According to reports in Ankara, the Turkish foreign minister threatened to expand the ban on Israeli military flights to commercial flights as well, unless Israel agreed to compensate the families of the nine activists killed during the Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla and issue a formal apology.


Lieberman clarified that such a decision must be made with complete judgment and full cooperation of all professional elements, noting that apologizing to Ankara or agreeing to pay damages would hurt Israel's status.


On Thursday, Lieberman expressed his anger for being left out of the loop regarding the meeting, while "sources in the Prime Minister's Office, including Defense Minister (Ehud) Barak, were involved." He slammed the prime minister, wondering, "Is this is the political culture and proper management we want?"


After the meeting was made public, the Prime Minister's Office said the foreign minister was not informed on it "for technical reasons." When Netanyahu's associates tried to get hold of Lieberman to schedule a reconciliation meeting, he was not available.


Despite the incident, the foreign minister said he did not intend to resign from the coalition.


פרסום ראשון: 07.02.10, 14:00
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