Israel's Netanyahu 'backs insult to Turkish envoy': Report

Netanyahu said Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon should have expressed his protest through more diplomatic means.

Israel's Netanyahu 'backs insult to Turkish envoy': Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon --whose snub against Turkish Ambassador in Tel Aviv Zeki Celikkol angered Turkey-- should have expressed his protest through more diplomatic means, Anadolu news agency reported.

A statement issued by the Israeli Prime Ministry said Netanyahu was pleased with Ayalon's "regretful mid-night statement", adding that his protest was "righteous" but should have been expressed through more diplomatic means.

However, Israel media said, "sources in the Prime Minister's Bureau said Tuesday the decision to invite the Turkish ambassador for a reprimand by Ayalon was made together with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman."

"At the Prime Minister's Bureau, they noted that Netanyahu was not aware of the way the reprimand would be carried out, "but the minute it happened the prime minister [gave] the foreign minister his full backing," Israeli paper Haaretz said.

Ayalon who summoned Celikkol Tuesday to express Israel's uneasiness over a Turkish TV-series showing Israeli agents kidnapping a child, had Celikkol sit at a lower armchair in front of a table with only the Israeli flag on it, refusing to shake his hand in front of the press.

Ayalon's snub violating all diplomatic manners drew strong reaction from Turkish officials. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said no one could dare to disrespect a Turkish ambassador, expressing Turkey's expectance from Israel to stick to diplomatic rules.

Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador in Ankara Gabby Levy and gave a protest note. Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying Turkey expected an apology from Israel.

Ayalon who did not make the apology Turkey expected, issued a statement late mid-night saying he did "not intend to insult the ambassador" but only meant "to protest Turkey's anti-Israeli attitude." He promised to employ more diplomatic means against ambassadors in the future.

The incident came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's criticism of Israeli offensive in Gaza by violating the UN resolutions at a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri the same day in Ankara.

In response to Erdogan's remarks, Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Israel respected Turkey and was "interested in continued normal relations" between the two states but expected the Turkish side to reciprocate with a similar approach towards Israel.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ocak 2010, 12:23