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PM Erdogan: I Will Never Come To Davos

Armen Hareyan's picture

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the president of Israel Shimon Peres and left the debate with Peres and Amr Moussa in protest with the words "I will never come to Davos." He said he was not given enough time to finish responding the accusations of Shimon Peres.

The discussion, just finished few minutes ago and was titled Gaza: The Case for Middle East Peace. It was moderated by David Ignatius and was carried on by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the premier minister of Turkey, Amr Moussa, the Secretary-General of the Arab League and Shimon Peres, the president of Israel.

All of them spoke and expressed their points. I did not personally hear what the PM Erdogan said before and catched the discussion when the turn was with Moussa.

Mr. Amr Moussa spoke in a very balanced way and said that the Arabs have formally offered Israel a formal position, a formal acceptance into the family of the nations of the Middle East and asked the formal position of Israel. Moussa said we know what the papers write and what we read in translations, but what is the former position of Israel. At the end of his speach he complemented Israel's president Shimon Peres as being an "eloquent" speaker, but said he wanted to ask the formal position of Israel.

Shimon Peres replied indeed very eloquently. He mentioned the word "peace" may be 15-20 times. He said Israel does not want war, but wants peace. Israel resorts to power when it's left with no choice. He said the rocket attacks were being fired and the people of Israel would call him and administration "traitors." Where is the government, why does not the government provide security. So Israel resorted to using power.

Shimon Peres blamed Hamas. He said Hammas leaders were hiding inside the bunker tunnels and making the homes of innocent people as place to launch rocket attacks. But he said Israel would always call those people's houses to warn them that they are going to be attacked soon. Peres said in the 20 days of the Gaza war Israel has made 250,000 phone calls to the houses of the Palestinian people in Gaza to warn them. Peres also told that Israle's war was against Hammas that launched the rocket attacks, not against the Palestinian people.

I had decided to write a story about Israel's 250K warning phone calls to Gaza residents, but then something happened. President Peres turned up his voice and blamed the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one of Israel's few friends in the region, for not supporting Israel on the Gaza.

Peres was the last speaker and really did not well answer Amr Moussa's question of formal position (could be that it's Peace), but dedicated his entire speech addressing PM Erdogan.

After he finished his speech after about 25 minutes the moderator Ignatius wanted to wrap up and close, but Erdogan asked for time to reply. Ignatius said he did not want to start another debate. Erdogan insisted by keep saying "one minute, one minute."

He was dutifully taking notes during the speech of Peres hoping to have the opportunity to respond. Eventually Ignatius gave him one minute and said he is going to hold Erdogan on to it.

PM Erdogan started his response by first noting that president Peres has a "loud voice." He was not given more than one minute to respond and the only thing he was able to say is if the Israel was not trying to harm the civilians why "we saw dead children on the beaches?"

Indeed, this was going to start another big debate and Ignatius stopped the debate.

PM Erdogan was very upset and angry. He took of his headphones and said that president Peres spoke for 25 minutes and "you did not gave me to speak even half of that time." "I will never come to Davos," said the PM Erdogan and left the room in a protest.

Then Klaus Schwab took the podium and tried to have the closing remarks, basically saying that the goal and the wish is that all the nations of the Abrahamic faith can one day leave together in peace.

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