A former Israeli Cabinet minister with a debilitating wheelchair condition accepted an apology from the Israeli prime minister on Monday after being initially refused access to a key international conference, an Associated Press report said.
Shlomo Benizri, 72, recently made headlines when his representatives said the International Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, had snubbed him because the high-security conference would only allow staff to enter the conference’s lobby for Benizri’s one-to-one meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Foreign Ministry official Stav Shaffir said the organizers were “forcibly denying Israel’s delegation access to the whole conference area.”
However, the Associated Press reported Monday that Netanyahu and Minister of Environmental Protection Anas Abu-Taleb, who visited the conference on the prime minister’s behalf, delivered a formal apology for the treatment. The AP said it will provide video to back up the statement.
Benizri and Netanyahu said the conference organizers had done an “understandable thing” due to concerns over security.
Benizri, an economics minister in the former Cabinet of Ariel Sharon, resigned his post in 2005. He was paralyzed two years earlier by a brain hemorrhage and spent months in a coma before he regained consciousness.
He was elected to the Israeli parliament in 1996 and served until 1999.
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