(JNS.org) Turkey pulled out a major international security conference in Germany due to the participation of Israeli officials, marking a new low in crumbling Israeli-Turkish relations.
“We have decided not to participate in the Munich Security Conference because they have subsequently invited Israeli representatives to the Middle East session,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Friday, the first day of the conference.
The annual Munich Security Conference is attended by heads of state as well as other top diplomatic and military officials. Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is attending the conference along with Labor party leader Isaac Herzog, said Israel will attend every important international conference “whether Turkey likes it or not.”
“Israel wishes to express its astonishment over the Turkish decision,” Steinitz said. “As was planned well in advance, I intend on representing Israel with pride before such an important panel. … Turkey’s boycott is essentially Ankara’s expression of sympathy for radical Islam and terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the perpetrators of last month’s Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris, saying Netanyahu committed “crimes against humanity” during last summer’s Gaza war. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, accused Netanyahu of carrying out “state terrorism.”