Turkish Foreign Minister walks out before Israeli speech at UN headquarters 23Sep11 September 23, 2011

MEMO-Middle East Monitor  -  22 September 2011

Turkey’s Foreign Minister has walked out of a conference on anti-terrorism at the UN headquarters in New York moments before a speech by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister. It was reported that Ahmet Davutoglu left the room after his own speech, in which he stressed the importance of cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, just before Danny Ayalon was set to deliver his.

Ayalon gained some notoriety in 2010 for a televised insult against Turkey’s ambassador in Tel Aviv.

The deputy minister summoned the ambassador and made him sit on a lower chair than the one he was sitting on in a deliberate attempt to demean his status. This incident contributed to the escalation of the diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel which has seen Ankara cut its military and trade relations with the Zionist state and downgrade diplomatic relations. The main stumbling block to an improvement in relations is Israel’s refusal to make a formal apology to Ankara for killing nine Turkish citizens on the May 2010 Freedom Flotilla taking humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.


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