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Police Ban Slovenia President from Temple Mount

reprinted from Arutz 7
9 Iyar 5768, 14 May 08 12:02

( Policemen prevented visiting Slovenia President Danilo Turk from going up to the Temple Mount Tuesday during his visit to Israel. President Turk left the area after policemen, who were not prepared for the request, said that he could not do so without armed escorts. However, witnesses said President Turk, who has been an outspoken critic of Iran, had difficulty in hiding his anger. He left the Western Wall plaza without going to the Western Wall (Kotel) itself.

The Slovenian president is attending the Facing Tomorrow conference arranged by President Shimon Peres. He also serves as the rotating president of the European Union (EU).

Slovenian President's Request to Visit Temple Mount Denied

reprinted from Ynet
14 May 08

Dr. Danilo Turk, country serving as current relieving president of EU, denied access to holy site in Old City of Jerusalem due to lack of security

by Neta Sela

Slovenian President Danilo Turk arrived Wednesday morning for a visit at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Upon his arrival, he requested to visit the Temple Mount and when his request was denied, immediately left the site.

Slovenia is currently the relieving president of the European Union, and thus Turk is considered a prominent European figure.

Turk, who arrived in Israel for the "President's Conference" in Jerusalem as an honorable guest, arrived on a tour in Jerusalem's Old City accompanied by people from the Foreign Ministry. At the end of his tour he arrived at the Western Wall and was greeted by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch.

During the conversation between the rabbi and the president, a security officer approached them and explained that the visitor is not allowed to go to the Temple Mount because his request was given enough time in advance and the proper amount of police forces was not available to accompany him.

Those present during this incident reported to Ynet that President Turk was infuriated. "He tried hiding his emotions, but you could see that he was fuming," said a person present.

At that point, the president turned to his hosts at the Western Wall plaza and told them that he saw enough. "I saw the Western Wall from afar and that is enough for me, I don't go down to the praying area." He said while turning around to leave the plaza in the direction of the limousine awaiting him outside the plaza's confines.

Rabbi Rabinovitch managed to present the president with a gift before his rushed departure. Those who accompanied him from the Foreign Ministry told Ynet that they tried to dim the magnitude of the incident saying that there was not a lot of time in the schedule for the Old City visit to begin with and that the delegation was in a rush.

Slovenia has led a hard line against comments made by Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lately. In an announcement published a few weeks ago, Slovenia attacked comments made by top Iranians including the president, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel and Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Muhammad Ali Jafari.

"The comments made by these figures against Israel are unacceptable, hurtful and uncivilized," said the announcement.

"The EU calls Iran to put an end to hostile rhetoric and to abstain from making threats against other countries who are also members of the international community."



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