UN chief backs Turkish PM over Davos row, expresses sadness

UN chief backs Turkish PM over Davos row, expresses sadness

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan Monday that the unfair conduct of the moderator prevented the Turkish leader from expressing his views in the Gaza session in Davos. (UPDATED)

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"You were not allowed to express yourself due to unjust and unfair conduct of the moderator in Davos," the U.N. Secretary General, who also attended last week's session, was quoted by Anatolian Agency as telling Erdogan in a phone conversation.

"As you know, the Middle East is going through a tough period. This region needs your leadership and mediation," Ban said.

Ban also told Erdogan he was saddened by what took place at a panel discussion in Davos last week, adding he has full confidence in Erdogan's leadership.

The Turkish prime minister told the U.N. chief that he is ready to do whatever is needed for peace in the region, the agency reported.

Erdogan last week stormed out of the Gaza session with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Davos after the moderator did not give him the floor to speak.

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Last week's crisis in Davos was the latest incident that strained ties between Israel and Turkey, who has harshly criticized the Jewish state since it began military operations in Gaza.

Turkey said Monday that it wants to maintain ties with regional ally Israel and move beyond the recent crisis.

"We give special importance to our bilateral ties with Israel and we want to preserve ties with that country," Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters in Ankara after a cabinet meeting.


"We are now looking towards the future. Turkey is not targeting Israel and the Israeli people," he said.


Turkey's reaction on Gaza was based on civilian lives lost and the human tragedy experienced there, he added.



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