Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Waraw Conference on February 14, 2019.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Yemen’s Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany has blamed the organizers of the Warsaw summit on the Middle East for placing him next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kan reported on Friday morning.
"As in any international conference, the organizers are responsible for the mistakes in the seating arrangements," he said, drawing heavy criticism as photographs of the two sitting together went viral both on social media and in the international press.
He claimed that the reactions to photographs, “were efforts to portray the situation differently based on political motivations.”
Following the criticism, on Friday, the Syrian news agency SANA reported Alyemany as saying that, "Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi's position on the Palestinian cause, people and leaders is unchangeable and nonnegotiable."
He added that the reason for attending the meeting in Warsaw was not "to discuss the Palestinian issue, but to bring the international community together against Iran's expansionist policy in Yemen.”
On Thursday, the Israeli prime minister and Yemeni foreign minister shared two brief, light-hearted moments as they sat next to each during the conference, as formal sessions commenced.
Alyemany was already seated in his correct place when Netanyahu joined him at the table. As the Israeli prime minister sat down, the two men shared a brief smile.
Later, during a discussion closed to the press, US Peace Envoy Jason Greenblatt shared a second interaction between the two tweeting: “A lighthearted moment- @netanyahu microphone was not working so FM of Yemen loaned him his microphone. @Netanyahu joked about the new cooperation between Israel and Yemen. Step by step.”
Israeli media hailed the interactions as “historic,” while just a day earlier, Netanyahu had met with the Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah.
During the session, Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that a new era cooperation is opening up in the Middle East between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries, particularly when it comes to confronting Iran.
Netanyahu was given a prominent place during the discussion, just two seats away from Pompeo, at the head of the gathering of representatives of some 60 nations including Saudi Arabia.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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