Monday, December 26, 2011

Tanzania Slams Israeli Defense Minister

Tanzania slams Israel defense minister

Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:9PM GMT

The Tanzanian consul to Tel Aviv has filed an official complaint against Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack over his insulting remarks about the east African country.

Denouncing the Israeli foreign ministry's response to the EU members of the UN Security Council's criticism against Israeli settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, Barak said last week that "Germany, France and Britain are not Tanzania, Mauritania or Tripolitania. These are very important countries in the world and we have no interest in increasing the tensions with them."

''On behalf of the Republic of Tanzania I wish to express regret over the comments made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who, in an attempt to (emphasize) the importance of key European countries, chose to belittle Tanzania and even compare it to a country that does not exist," Tanzanian consul to Israel, Kasbian Nuriel Chirich, wrote in an official letter to the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday.

There was no immediate response from Israeli foreign ministry.

On Tuesday, December 20, Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal, the four European members of the UNSC, issued a joint statement condemning Tel Aviv's increased settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Shortly after, Israeli foreign ministry issued a condemnatory statement, saying that the UNSC members had interfered in Tel Aviv's affairs.

Israel has recently unveiled tenders for the construction of 1,028 new illegal settler units in the East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank. Tel Aviv occupied East al-Quds and the West Bank in 1967 and later annexed them in a move not recognized by the international community.

Palestinians, who want East al-Quds as the capital of their future state, have repeatedly said that the new round of talks with the Israeli regime cannot be resumed unless there is a complete halt in settlement expansion activities.

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