Turkey's FM Says He Has Never Taken Lieberman Seriously

Davutoglu makes the remarks following report that Israel's foreign minister accused Turkey, Qatar of sabotaging Egypt-brokered Gaza truce.

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Foreign Minister Lieberman at press conference in Knesset, March 25, 2014.
Foreign Minister Lieberman at press conference in Knesset, March 25, 2014.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that he has never taken his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman seriously, following his claims that Turkey sabotaged an Egypt-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Responding in a TV interview to Lieberman's remarks that Qatar and Turkey mired the truce, Davutoglu said, “I have never taken the Israeli foreign minister seriously,” Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

The top Turkish diplomat was responding to Haaretz's report that Lieberman said that Turkey and Qatar didn't accept the Egyptian proposal to end the fighting, which entered its tenth day on Thursday.

Haaretz learned that Lieberman told Borg Brende, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is visiting Israel, that Hamas lied when it said Cairo had not sent it the cease-fire proposal, which Israel accepted. He said Egyptian intelligence officials had given the details of the initiative to Mousa Abu-Marzouk, head of the Hamas mission in Cairo. The Israeli security cabinet okayed the deal on July 14, but Hamas said that they weren't consulted on the offer and later rejected it.

“Hamas was ready to consider the Egyptian proposal favorably but Qatar wanted to screw the Egyptians and told them not to accept it,” Lieberman told Brende, Haaretz learned. He said all Qatar’s moves were coordinated with Turkey and both these states are pushing Hamas leaders not to accept the Egyptian proposals.

Davutoglu rejected the report, however. “How can I take seriously someone who talks about cleansing Palestinians from invaded areas?,” Hurriyet cited him as saying.

The previous day, the Turkish foreign minister said Ankara was engaged in "intense diplomacy" to help achieve a cease-fire that would include "all players – Hamas and other Palestinian groups."

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