Earlier this week, Israel summoned Bern's envoy to Tel Aviv to voice strong disapproval at a UN anti-racism conference held in Geneva and also a meeting between the Iranian and Swiss presidents
The Swiss foreign ministry, for its turn, called Israeli Ambassador to Bern Ilan Elgar to object to the summoning of its diplomat and also to clarify what Israel calls "excessive" disapproval of the meeting between the Iranian and Swiss presidents.
The threatening reaction of Israel was surprising as Israeli officials had already been informed of the meeting between the Swiss and Iranian presidents, the Swiss foreign ministry said.
Israel blasted Switzerland for hosting the Durban Review Conference - a UN antiracism meeting - while Bern was represented at the meeting by a low-ranking official.
The antiracism meeting called Durban II commenced in Geneva on Monday with the inaugural speech of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
As the Iranian president was delivering a speech at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva on Monday, a participant sought to insult him by throwing an object to his face, but over 4500 representatives of the NGOs and human rights activists attending the convention asked the Iranian president to continue his address and gave him repeated applause.
Following the incident, a minority of representatives from 23 organizations and states, mostly from western countries, left the hall in protest at Ahmadinejad's speech. But thousands of others, including the United Nations representatives remained in the hall as Ahmadinejad continued, calling Israel a cruel and racist state and accusing Zionists of using the Holocaust as an excuse to steal Arab land.
"The egoist and uncivilized Zionism has been able to deeply penetrate into their political and economic structure including their legislation, mass media, companies, financial systems, and their security and intelligence agencies. They have imposed their domination to the extent that nothing can be done against their will. As long as they are at the helm of power, justice will never prevail in the world. It is time the idea of Zionism, which is the paragon of racism, to be broken. The world Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religion and abuses religious sentiments to hide their hatred and ugly faces," the Iranian president said in his speech.