The Israeli Foreign Ministry has cleared its envoy to Australia of any misconduct after an investigation sparked by racist comments about Asians attributed to him by Israel's leading newspaper. The envoy, Naftali Tamir, is to resume work in Canberra after being summoned to Israel for an internal review amid controversy over the Haaretz newspaper's article quoting him as saying Israel and Australia are sister countries in Asia since both are from the white race and 'don't have yellow skin and slanty eyes'. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said: 'During all stages of the internal review the ambassador insisted he never said the remarks that were attributed to him. 'He is returning to Canberra and that's where it stands.' But Mr Tamir told the Australian Jewish News newspaper after the controversy erupted that his remarks were taken out of context, not that he did not make them. 'The recent comments attributed to me were a result of a misunderstanding and were put out of context,' he said. 'These comments do not in any way represent my views.' Mr Regev said he could not confirm Israeli media reports quoting Foreign Ministry officials as saying Mr Tamir's posting to Australia would be shortened and that a search for a replacement would begin shortly. The Haaretz article last month quoted Mr Tamir as saying that there was potential for Israel to develop trade in Asia with Australia's co-operation. 'Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia,' the newspaper quoted him as saying. 'We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanty eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side.' Mr Tamir has served in Tokyo, Washington and Helsinki. He is Israel's non-resident ambassador in New Zealand.