Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had to apologise on Monday to his Brazilian counterpart for a remark by a foreign ministry spokesperson calling the Latin American powerhouse a “diplomatic dwarf”.
The comment in July was made by spokesperson Yigal Palmor after Brazil criticised Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as excessive and recalled its envoy in Tel Aviv.
In a phone call Monday, Rivlin assured Brazil President Dilma Rousseff that Palmor’s comments “do not correspond to the sentiments of the population” of Israel, Rousseff’s office said in a statement.
Rousseff had criticised Palmor’s remarks, saying “Words, including the spokesperson’s, sometimes create a very bad climate. In this case, we have to be very careful.”
Israel and Hamas Monday started a new 72-hour ceasefire, as negotiators in Egypt worked to seek a permanent end to hostilities.
Rousseff “expressed hope for the continuation of the ceasefire and the current negotiations,” the statement said.