Israeli achievement – Knesset Speaker Rivlin
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Israel defeats Turkey at regional forum

Knesset speaker Rivlin convinces European members to endorse Israeli for senior position

An Israeli representative, Knesset Member Majalli Whbee (Kadima,) and a French representative were elected as vice-chairmen of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean in Morocco on Thursday.


Representatives from 25 countries took part in the Rabat convention, with Syria boycotting the event because of Israel's presence.


Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin thwarted efforts to elect the Turkish representative for the role, and told assembly participants that Israel would quit the organization if the Turkish representative was chosen.


Rivlin said that "Israel is a member of the assembly in order to promote cooperation and not so that it would have to defend itself from constant attacks."


According to Israeli sources, Rivlin held incisive conversations with senior officials at the convention, including with the outgoing president, and asked them to support Whbee.


"In the meeting, Rivlin expressed his anger and displeasure over European intentions not to endorse Whbee," one source said.


A senior official in the Israeli delegation said the vote constituted a "historic victory for Israel, in a forum comprising Arab and European states that traditionally do not support Israel."


"Israel was never before able to get its own candidate to be elected to such senior position at such forum," he said. "Had it not been for Rivlin's tough talk with the European representative, we would not have achieved this."


Meanwhile, an Egyptian representative is expected to be elected as the assembly's president Friday.


פרסום ראשון: 10.28.10, 22:35
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