French President Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on Sunday. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying he will not be lectured by a man who bombs Kurdish villages after the Turkish president called Israel a “terrorist state.”
“I’m not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey,” Netanyahu said on Sunday in a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Erdogan “helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people,” Netanyahu went on. “That is not the man who will lecture us.”
Netanyahu was reacting to comments made earlier in the day by Erdogan.
“Palestine has been under occupation since 1947,” the Turkish leader said at a meeting of his party, Anadolu Agency reported. “Israel is an occupying state, a terrorist state.”
Erdogan has been fiercely critical of US President Donald Trump’s recent controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He called an emergency session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for Wednesday in Istanbul.
A Turkish presidential spokesperson brushed off Netanyahu’s remarks, saying “Instead of attacking our country and our leader, the Israeli authorities should end the occupation of Palestinian territories.”
Turkey has been waging a decades-long war with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting for greater cultural and national rights for millions of Kurds in Turkey.
Netanyahu, on Sunday, invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to peace talks. “Here is my offer: to sit down to negotiate peace. I repeatedly invited President Abbas, and I do it here again, in the Elysee. That’s a gesture of peace. Nothing could be simpler.”
Abbas has refused to meet US Vice President Mike Pence when he will visit the Middle East this month.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said they are seeking a “new mediator from our Arab brothers and the international community, a mediator who can help with reaching a two-state solution.”
Updated at 10:33 pm