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Ortega, d’Escoto Blast Israeli Attacks on Gaza

January 9, 2009

MANAGUA – Palestinian Ambassador to Managua Walid Ibrahim Muaqqat applauded the Nicaraguan government’s criticism of Israel’s military attack on the Gaza Strip, while Israeli Ambassador Ehud Moshe Eitam has called for more balanced dialogue on the subject.

In a statement last week, the Nicaraguan government pushed for a halt of what it called Israel’s “criminal acts” in Gaza. U.N. General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto, Nicaragua’s former Sandinista foreign minister and a longtime critic of Israel, later blasted the Israeli attack on Gaza as a “monstrosity.”

Father d’Escoto, one of President Daniel Ortega’s top foreign policy advisers, criticized the U.N. Security Council in New York City, for not taking action against the Israeli attacks.

Ortega, too, spoke out against the Israeli military campaign during the first day of the attack, calling on the international community to make all necessary efforts to “detain these criminal acts of the Israeli government against the long-suffering people of Palestine.”

Israeli Ambassador Eitam said Nicaragua’s statements signaled an “unfortunate” bias. “I’ve never heard President Ortega ever criticize or call on Hamas … not to attack Israel,” the Israeli diplomat told Nicaraguan daily La Prensa.

“When (Ortega) criticizes just one side, especially when he criticizes Israel, he doesn’t have the positive impact … that I believe he wants to have. He should be much more balanced,” Eitam said.

Venezuela’s government, a close Nicaraguan ally, also called Israel’s acts “criminal,” while other Latin American nations have expressed concern and repudiation toward the spiral of violence.

 

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