'I never take Lieberman seriously,' FM Davutoğlu says over claims Turkey sabotaged Gaza cease-fire
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. AFP PhotoTurkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has dismissed Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s accusations that Turkey and Qatar attempted to “sabotage” the Gaza cease-fire proposal drafted in Egypt.
“I have never taken the Israeli foreign minister [Lieberman] seriously,” Davutoğlu said on July 17 in a televised interview.
His statements came over a report from Israeli daily Haaretz quoting Lieberman saying both Turkey and Qatar pushed Hamas leaders not to accept the Egyptian proposals. According the report, Lieberman told Norwegian Foreign Minister Borg Brende that Hamas lied when it said Cairo had not sent it the cease-fire proposal. Israel’s security cabinet approved the deal on the morning of July 14 and stopped its attacks earlier in that day. But Hamas said they had never been consulted over the proposed deal.
Lieberman said Egyptian intelligence officials had given the details of the initiative to Mousa Abu-Marzouk, head of the Hamas mission in Cairo, the daily reported.
“Hamas was ready to consider the Egyptian proposal favorably but Qatar wanted to screw the Egyptians and told them not to accept it,” Haaretz quoted Lieberman as saying to Brende. He said all Qatar’s moves were coordinated with Turkey and both these states were in contact with Hamas leaders.
But Davutoğlu rejected the accusations. “How can I take seriously someone who talks about cleansing Palestinians from invaded areas?” he added.
On July 16, Davutoğlu said July 16 Ankara that was conducting “intense diplomacy” to reach a truce that would include “all players - Hamas and other Palestinian groups,” after holding talks with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani also visited Turkey on late July 15 and met President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.