Liberman angered by PM’s Internet campaign against UN chief’s Tehran trip (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By ASHER ZEIGER 08/17/12)
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Foreign minister feels that attempts to sway Ban Ki-moon should be
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has come out against the campaign
by the Prime Minister’s Office urging UN Secretary General Ban Ki-
moon to forego attending the Non-Alligned Movement (NAM) summit
scheduled for late August in Tehran, according to Army Radio.
The PMO recently launched an Internet and media campaign in which
surfers were encouraged to send Ban emails and convince him to skip
the summit. The campaign followed reports of an early August phone
conversation between Netanyahu and the UN chief, in which the prime
minister expressed his dismay at Ban’s announcement that he would
attend the Tehran summit, claiming it would lend legitimacy to the
Iranian regime. Haaretz later reported that Ban was angered by
Netanyahu’s leaking their private conversation.
Liberman, as well as several Israeli diplomats serving abroad,
reportedly felt that the discussion between Israel and the UN chief
could have, and should have been much more discreet and that the
online campaign is counterproductive. Liberman reportedly expressed
is dipleasure at the move to PMO officials.
The government’s public relations department said that the Internet
campaign was only launched after all attempts to sway Ban from his
decision through diplomatic channels had failed.
Netanyahu is not alone in objecting to the venue of the summit. The
United States called the choice of location “strange and
In her daily press briefing on Thursday, State Department
spokesperson, Victoria Nuland noted that while the US is not a member
of NAM, “given [Tehran´s] number of grave violations of international
law and UN obligations” it is “not the appropriate place,” for world
leaders to gather.
Jewish organizations B’nai B’rith and the Conference of Presidents
have also urged Ban to reconsider attending the summit. (© 2012 THE
TIMES OF ISRAEL 08/17/12)
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