European Parliament president apologizes for flying Tzipi Livni back to Israel


Tzipi Livni, a Cabinet member of Israel’s centrist Hatnua party, will be unable to attend a major international climate conference in Poland this week because of a previous issue, her office said Thursday.

The person she had intended to accompany was also in an inadequate wheelchair accessibility, according to Haaretz. It appears the speaker of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who would have been Livni’s escort, did not know about her previous issue and helped to make arrangements for her to fly back to Israel.

But Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal bloc in the European Parliament, took to Twitter to apologize to Livni and the people of Europe for allowing the situation to arise.

Shooting for 15,000 participators a day at #COP26. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate all who wanted to attend on an essential quad wheelchair. Tzipi Livni has accepted the apology. — Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) March 1, 2021

Verhofstadt has insisted that there was nothing he did wrong, but Israel was skeptical of the explanation. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri had accused Tajani of “fraudulent” treatment of Livni.

“[Tajani] is a speaker without responsibility who allowed two-thirds of the Europeans to travel to #COP26 only on a good deal, like a gift,” Deri wrote. “#Europe cares more about its politicians than people.”

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