Erdogan: Israel the main threat to peace in the Middle East
PARIS, — Israel is the main threat to peace in the Middle East, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday at the onset of a visit to France.
Speaking to journalists in Paris before a working lunch with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Erdogan said that it is impossible to praise a country that exerted such excessive force in Gaza, including the use of phosphorus weapons.
“If a country uses disproportionate force in Palestine, in Gaza — uses phosphorous shells — we’re not going to say ‘bravo’,” he declared, referring to Israel January 2009 offensive against Gaza, which killed and injured more than 5,000 Palestinians.
Erdogan said Israel’s justification for the offensive on Gaza was based on “lies” and cited a report by United Nations investigator Richard Goldstone.
“Goldstone is a Jew and his report is clear,” the Turkish leader told reporters invited to meet him at the Paris Ritz. “It’s not because we are Muslims that we take this position. Our position is humanitarian. It’s Israel that is the principal threat to regional peace.”