January 30, 2009
Posted: 1541 GMT
(CNN) - Israeli President Shimon Peres said he had an amicable phone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a day after Erdogan stormed offstage during an angry exchange with Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Peres said he and Erdogan did not take the spat personally.
"I called him up and said, yes, it's nothing against you, nothing against Turkey. We consider you as a friend," Peres said. He said Erdogan reciprocated.
Although there was no mention of an apology, Peres said there was a polite exchange between the two leaders.
"I didn't take it personally. I didn't go for a personal fight. I answered unfounded accusations. It was my duty. And they didn't change my mind," he said.
Turkey, a predominantly Muslim nation, has long been the Jewish state's closest military and economic partner in the region, and Turkey recently mediated indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria.
But many Turks have been incensed with Israel over its three-week military operation that ended there earlier this month.
And in Davos, Erdogan was angered after Peres said that Israel is committed to peace and blamed Hamas for the fighting in Gaza, where Israel staged a three-week military operation that ended earlier this month.
When Erdogan began responding, a moderator cut him off, saying the debate had run over its allotted time. Erdogan patted the moderator on the arm until he was granted one more minute to respond.
"I know the reason behind raising your voice is because of the guilty psychology," he said to Peres. "My voice will not be that loud. You must know that. When it comes to killing - you know killing very well. I know how you hit, kill children on the beaches."
He then left the stage, complaining that Peres was receiving preferential treatment.
"From now on, Davos is finished for me," Erdogan said. "I will not come back. You won't let people talk. You gave him 25 minutes, but you gave me 12 minutes. This is not right."
Filed under: Shimon Peres