The tendency of President Martinelli to step into political minefields, has raised the ire of Chinese authorities who have told him to stay clear of involvement in a dispute with Japan.
During his visit to Japan, the president took the side of his hosts in its dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands (Chinese) or Senkaku (Japan).
While ambassadors of the two countries are meeting to ease tensions over the conflict Martinelli's action angered China, which at a press-conference told him to "not get involved in any way" in the dispute, Reuters reported on Tuesday, October 23.
When the news reached Panama there were instant reactions condemning the attitude of the president did says La Prensa.
Internationalist Professor Julio Yao, said that as head of foreign policy, Martinelli has a say on any international issue but, uninvited, cannot intervene in the internal or external affairs of other States.
"Regardless of who is sovereign over the Diaoyu Islands or Senkaku the conflict has just begun and could be resolved by diplomatic or judicial if it were subjected to the International Court of Justice ihe Hague, but right at this point, Martinelli comes telling the world who is sovereign and reaching the pinnacle of international ridicule,"
Former Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis said it was "a mistake" to lean towards a nation, when Panama has excellent working relationships with both.
The incident in Japan occurred just eight days after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Martinelli said he will seek mechanisms for the euro to circulates in Panama alongside the dollar. The proposal was described as "absurd" by local economists.
La Prensa said on Wednesday that comments made by Martinelli in Israel are perhaps the most remembered.
In March 2010, in the midst of a tour of the Middle East country, Martinelli said that "Israel is the guardian of the holy city," prompting criticism from Palestinians, whose authorities repudiated the words of Panama’s president - "Martinelli's remarks are not only an insult to the Palestinian people, the Arab world and throughout the Christian and Islamic world, but also an affront to international law," said , Fatah politician Nabil Shaath.
Also in 2010, on a visit to Peru, newspaper La Primera accused him of intervening in the internal politics of the country. At a meeting with businessmen.Martinelli urged the group "to seize political power", as political entrepreneurs, "because they are the only salvation of the country."