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Cumartesi, Temmuz 13, 2024

Erdogan Meets Palestinian Leaders, Stresses Unity

Mutlaka Oku

By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL- On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted a joint meeting in Ankara between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas terror group chief Ismail Haniyeh in an effort to emphasize unity in light of what he termed “Israeli aggression in Jerusalem and the West Bank.” The meeting happened ahead of a summit of Palestinian factions that will take place this weekend July 29-30 in Cairo, Egypt. According to sources close to the situation, the meeting is extremely important due to the “continuation of settlement activity” and “Israeli aggression in Jerusalem and the West Bank.” The Turkish leader told the two Palestinian leaders that any lack of solidarity between Palestinians only serves those who seek to thwart the peace process. Abbas’s office issued a statement that said he and Erdogan talked about expanding bilateral ties. No mention was made of Haniyeh being in attendance at that meeting. A number of Palestinian factions including Fatah and Hamas will attend the national reconciliation meeting after Israeli raids. At issue is the Palestinian Authority’s loss of control of the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Jenin. Hamas official Husam Badran in a statement, said the different factions discussed reconciliation efforts prior to the weekend meeting. Badran emphasized that in order to deal with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that Palestinian groups must show unification.

Meanwhile, at a bilateral meeting with Abbas on Tuesday, Erdogan pledged to keep supporting the Palestinian cause and shared his concerns about violence in the West Bank. The Turkish leader remarked: “We will continue to support the Palestinian cause in the strongest way possible.” Erdogan added: “We are deeply worried about the increasing loss of lives, destruction, the expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence.” He reiterated: “The only way to a just and lasting peace in the region, is to defend the vision of a two-state solution.” Ongoing clashes where young Palestinians are being killed by the Israeli Army are a major part of Erdogan’s concern in the region. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed one day ago that it is conducting counter-terrorism activity in a Nablus refugee camp. To that end, Erdogan stated: “We are deeply worried about the increasing loss of lives, destruction, the expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence.”

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