The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland sent a letter in reply to President Shimon Peres to clarified their stance on circumcision. He stated that it was human rights issue and the council in not way is trying to curb freedom of religion. He stated that the aim was to insure the rights of children, specifically females. Some country that hold the tradition of female circumcision is considered genital mutilation by the council, he stated. He also said that the council was consultative body which does not represent the general position of the Council of Europe.
On Monday, Peres sent a letter to Jagland urging the council to reconsider its recent decision against circumcision which he called an ancient Jewish tradition conducted for generations.