Truce declared between Israel and Spain
26 July 2006, MADRID – Israel’s ambassador to Spain on Wednesday called a truce in the diplomatic row between the two countries.
26 July 2006
MADRID – Israel’s ambassador to Spain on Wednesday called a truce in the diplomatic row between the two countries.
The day before, Victor Harel had demanded a public rectification by the end of the day from the Spanish ruling socialist party over comments made by its secretary Jose Blanco.
But on Wednesday, Harel said he had decided to start "a new page" in the countries’ relations after a phonecall from Blanco.
"I think what he said to me by phone went further than what he said publicly," said Harel. "He admitted in this way that he had made a mistake and he explained to me what was the intention of what he wanted to say and which he tried to say in a clearer way."
Harel said the pair had agreed the two countries should "work together and look to the future" and said Israeli-Spanish relations "continued intact".
The row blew up after Blanco criticised Israel’s attacks in Lebanon. "It’s not attacking Hizbullah but a whole country and its inhabitants", he said. "In this crisis the civilian deaths are not collateral damage but an intended objective".
After criticism from the ambassador, Blanco toned down his position, stating his remarks meant that "the disproportionate way in which Israel has responded to the Hizbullah terrorist attacks inevitably cause civilian deaths".
Even Blanco’s explanation for his initial comments angered the ambassador who passed Blanco’s comments to the Israeli Labour Party, the equivalent party to Blanco’s PSOE. It is understood that the Labour Party played a role in mediating the crisis with Blanco’s socialists.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news