Turkey FM withdraws from Munich conference in boycott of Israeli participants

Israeli minister Steinitz said, “By boycotting Israel, Turkey shows its sympathies lie with radical Islam & terror groups such as Hamas & the Muslim Brotherhood.”

By i24news


Turkey’s foreign minister on Friday cancelled his appearance at a Munich conference citing the participation of Israeli representatives.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a press conference with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja (unseen) in Ankara, on November 18, 2014 – Photo: Adem Altan/AFP)

“I was going to attend the conference but we decided not to after they added Israeli officials to the Middle East session at the last minute,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Berlin, Reuters reported.

Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz is slated to take part in The Munich Security Conference, an annual convention on international security policy is regarded the world’s largest gathering of its kind.

He responded to Turkey’s decision calling it “surprising.”

“Israel will participate in any international convention whether Turkey likes it or not,” he said in a statement. “I will proudly represent Israel as planned in the important debate about the future of the Middle East.”

“By boycotting Israel, Turkey shows its sympathies lie with radical Islam and terror groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Rather than damaging Israel, this sheds a dark shadow over Turkey’s future.”

Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel have deteriorated over the last few years, with both countries openly expressing contempt towards the other. Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu had committed crimes against humanity comparable to the Paris attacks that left 17 dead.

“Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same like those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre,” he told reporters in televised comments, pointing to the deadly 2010 Israeli assault on a Turkish aid vessel and last year’s war with Gaza.

In 2010, Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in an aid flotilla for the besieged Gaza Strip.

Nine Turks died in the raid and one more died in hospital this year after four years in a coma.


View original i24news publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/60228-150206-turkey-fm-pulls-out-of-munich-conference-to-avoid-israeli-participants