Published On: Tue, May 18th, 2021

Turkish President Steps Up Diplomatic Efforts To Help End Mideast Crisis

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By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL) – Ever since violence broke out between Israel and the Palestinians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began ramping up diplomatic efforts to get a number of major international organizations on board with a plan to halt the violence in the Middle East, that began two weeks ago with no imminent signs of abating. Erdogan already held talks via phone with the leaders of 20 nations including Palestine, Russia, Pakistan, Kuwait and Algeria. He urged leaders to show solidarity against Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Gaza, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem.  The Turkish president spoke first to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismael Haniyeh. The Turkish leader also spoke to the leaders of Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Quatar, Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, Malaysia, Iraq, Oman and a number of other nations.

Erdogan described the attacks as “terrorism” and condemned Israel while also slamming U.S. President Joe Biden’s response to the continuing violence. He reiterated Turkey’s support for the Palestinians and for Jerusalem as a holy city. He urged the United Nations to intervene quickly before a greater escalation of violence. Erdogan also suggested sending an international peacekeeping force to the region. In addition, the Turkish leader organized an emergency meeting with the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs to discuss the Mideast crisis.

In his most recent diplomatic efforts, the Turkish leader urged Pope Francis to help end tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. The Turkish online newspaper Daily Sabah reported that Erdogan thinks the Pope’s messages and reactions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be key to garnering international support for Palestinians. The Turkish president pointed out that Israel is blocking access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as well as limiting freedom of worship. He added that regional security is under threat and added that all humanity must unite against what he labeled Israel’s “illegal and inhumane” actions.

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