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Monday, August 07, 2006

Israel recalls Caracas Envoy After Chavez Compared State to Hitler

Israel has recalled its ambassador to Caracas following comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez comparing Israel to Hitler, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

"We have recalled our ambassador to Caracas for consultations," said ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

"We are concerned at the attitude of Venezuela... They have allied themselves with the most extreme elements in the region."

In an interview with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television last week, Chavez criticised Israel for its attacks on Lebanon and the Palestinians, comparing its operations to those of Hitler.

The day before the interview, Chavez ordered the withdrawal of Venezuela's ambassador to Israel in protest.

Regev said Israel did not appreciate Chavez's allying himself with views similar to those of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel.

"We have a Venezuelan president who embraces the Iranian leader who just a couple of days ago called for Israel to be wiped off the map," said Regev.

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