Israel Protests Ahmadinejad's Visit

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel issued an official complaint to Turkey in advance of next week's visit to the country by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad.

"Israel is disappointed that Turkey has extended an invitation for an official visit to a leader who publicly denies the Holocaust, thus granting him legitimacy," Israeli Ambassador to Turkey, Gabi Levi, told officials in Ankara.

Up till now, Ahmadinejad's past efforts to schedule a state visit to Ankara have been postponed.

But recent efforts by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to mediate talks between the Islamic Republic and the United States have yielded a friendlier atmosphere between the two countries.

Erdogan made himself available as a mediator for third-party negotiations between Iran and the US, much as Turkey has done in the Olmert government's third-party negotiations with Syria.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Turkey downgraded Ahmadinejad's visit from "official state visit" to "working visit" because of the Iranian president's harsh words against Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey.

Source: Haaretz

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