Netanyahu: Turkey not an honest mediator

The Israeli prime minister, angered by Turkey’s firm stance in supporting Palestinian rights, says the Muslim country is not an honest mediator.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli cabinet on Sunday that he preferred France as a broker for peace negotiations with Syria.

Netanyahu stated that he has rejected Syria’s call for Turkey to hold such talks.

“Israel is ready for talks with Syria without preconditions, ideally direct talks. If there will be a mediator we prefer an honest one. The Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan objectively did not strengthen the perception that he could be an honest mediator in recent weeks. I prefer the French,” Netanyahu said.

Last Wednesday during a meeting in Paris, Netanyahu asked French President Nicolas Sarkozy to tell the Syrians that he was willing to begin direct talks with them anytime, anywhere and without preconditions, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.

Sarkozy offered last week to host an international summit in Paris to resume the Middle East peace talks.

He first raised the proposal in his Wednesday meeting with Netanyahu, then with the acting Palestinian acting Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas and Assad.

Sarkozy also complained to Netanyahu over the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s inappropriate remarks and urged him to oust the foreign minister.

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