Merz: criticisms are 'unjustified'

21st April 2009, Comments 3 comments

The Swiss president responds to Israeli criticism of his meeting with Iranian leader.

GENEVA - Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz described criticisms of his meeting with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "unjustified", Swiss news agency ATS reported Monday.

"I can understand them, but they are unjustified," he said in an interview with Swiss local station Radio 1, the agency said.

Merz met Ahmadinejad on Sunday night in Geneva ahead of the racism conference that is being boycotted by the United States, Israel, and several other Western countries.

It was Ahmadinejad's first formal meeting with a Western head of state.

Israel on Monday recalled its ambassador to Switzerland in protest at the Swiss leader's meeting the "racist" Iranian president.

Israel "decided to recall the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland Ilan Elgar for consultations to express their discontent over the holding of the Durban II conference in Geneva that includes the participation of a racist Holocaust denier who has publicly declared his intention to wipe Israel off the map," a government statement said.

"Israel's ambassador in Switzerland is recalled for consultations following the start of the Durban II conference and the meeting between the Swiss president with his Iranian counterpart," an Israeli foreign ministry official said.

"This is not a break in relations, but an expression of Israel's discontent for the lax Swiss attitude towards Iran," he said on condition of anonymity.
AFP / Expatica

3 Comments To This Article

  • Morteza posted:

    on 21st April 2009, 13:04:12 - Reply

    The United States that boycotted the conference to protest comments critical of Israel in the draft final statement, has condemned Ahmadinejad’s speech, yet it did not comment on Israel’s heinous crimes against the Palestinians, like the killings, the settlements, the apartheid wall, arbitrary arrests and the harsh and racist treatment of more than a million and a half Palestinians living in lands occupied in 1948. There was a dramatic rise in the number of "racist acts" by Israelis against Arabs in the Zionist entity as well as a lesser but still significant rise in racism against Israelis by all sectors this past year compared to the previous year, according to a report by the Haifa-based Mossawa-The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel. There were 70 attacks on Arabs or Arab property by Israeli settlers from March 2008 to March 2009, a 10-fold increase from the previous year, according to the 2009 Mossawa racism report that was based on field research and police reports.
    Dr Ahmadynejad is not a hitler, Sharon, Bibi, Barak, are the twin brotherers of Hitler with a lots of blood on their hand. Mr ahmadynejadshand is clean and he just says the truth because he only fears the GOD and no one else.
  • Thomas posted:

    on 21st April 2009, 13:01:03 - Reply

    It is regrettable that Swiss President Merz has shown himself to be the same moral idiot as his father's and grandfather's generation leaders. It is also telling that Switzerland's economy is so dependent on the ill gotten gains of middle east despots.

    Merz is a throwback to a shameful generation that acted as bankers to Hitler and as a fence for Nazi loot stolen from Jews murdered by the Nazis.

    Why is the Swiss government so willing to set back the hands of time to the late 1930s?

  • marita posted:

    on 21st April 2009, 10:39:10 - Reply

    It is unbelievable that 60 years after the holocaust, which took place here in Europe, we the europeans let someone like Ahmadynejad, the twin brother of hitler, to show his horror agenda in the center of european city. We did not learn nothing from our parents who closed their eyes and let all of this to happen. I feel very bad with this and hope there are a lot of people like me.