Winston Peters denies sleeping during Turkish meeting

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Monday, 25 March 2019, 6:30PM
President Recep Erdogan of Turkey delivers a speech at the Islamic Summit in Istanbul 22 March 2019, as Winston Peters appears to sleep. (Photo / Supplied)
President Recep Erdogan of Turkey delivers a speech at the Islamic Summit in Istanbul 22 March 2019, as Winston Peters appears to sleep. (Photo / Supplied)

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is deflecting claims he fell asleep in a meeting of top Islamic leaders in Turkey over the weekend.

Appearing alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at post-Cab today, Peters said he was in a state of "deep contemplation."

Images and video taken at the emergency conference of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), show Peters, who is 74, with his head slumped and eyes closed for extended periods of time.

This happened while Turkish President Recep Erdogan was speaking at the event.

Peters had been requested to attend the conference by Turkish officials to discuss the terror attacks in Christchurch, which claimed the lives of 50 people on March 15.

It came amid concerns from New Zealand and Australia regarding a series of controversial comments Erdogan had made about the Christchurch terror attack.

Some have accused Peters – who is also the Deputy Prime Minister – of being asleep.

But he appeared to back away from that suggestion today.

"This is amazing," Peters said when asked if he had nodded off at the meeting.

"I have a full list of everybody that spoke, where they came from, in the order they spoke – it's comprehensive and I've still got it."

Ministers are regularly given run sheets prior to meetings, which contain the names those in attendance and an agenda.

"Some would suggest that you could be in deep contemplation and know what is going on at the same time, which I was," Peters said.

He said it was a "very, very serious meeting and that's why I still have a record of it".
He did not, however, deny being asleep.

It is not the first time Peters has appeared to nod off at meetings.

Last week, Peters sat with his eyes closed and his head down at times while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a contingent of Ministers and MPs met Muslim community leaders following the mosque terror attacks in Christchurch.

A few weeks before that, Peters' were closed during a Security and Intelligence select committee hearing, also attended by Ardern.

 

 

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