Abbas Discussed Israel-Palestinian Conflict With Turkey’s PM Erdoğan
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas discussed the recent developments in Israel-Palestinian conflict and progress in Gaza truce talks in their meeting late on Friday.
The two leaders also hold a “comprehensive discussion” on the process to clinch a deal between two rival Palestinian fractions, the prime minister’s office said in a statement on Saturday.
Abbas arrived Friday in Ankara for talks with Turkish officials. He went straight into a dinner with Erdogan and will meet with President Abdullah Gul as well as other Turkish officials on Saturday.
“In the meeting, the current developments in the Palestinian-Israel conflict and as a result steps that could be taken to ensure a permanent truce in Gaza, the latest efforts to secure unity among Palestinian groups were reviews thoroughly,” the statement was quoted as saying by the state-run Anatolian Agency.
Ankara has repeatedly stressed that ending hostilities between the Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Abbass West Bank-based Fatah movement is critical if the Palestinian desire for statehood is to be realized.
The leaders agreed that Palestinian as well as the Middle East region are now going into a very critical period and Turkey’s efforts to ensure a lasting truce in Gaza, continuation of humanitarian aid to the region and its positive contribution to the peace talks under Egypt should be continued, it added.
Turkey assumed an active diplomatic role during the recent war in Gaza, acting as a mediator between exiled Hamas leaders and Egyptian officials who sought a ceasefire deal.
Erdogan strongly criticized Israel, a close ally of Turkey, during the 22-day offensive. Last week he stormed out from a heated debate on the issue at an international forum in Switzerland after clashing with Israeli President Shimon Peres.