Ankara, MINA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that recent steps to normalise Ankara’s ties with Israel will not weaken the country’s support for Palestine in the conflict between the two sides.
Erdogan’s remarks come as he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday as part of the latter’s official visit to Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, Al Jazeera reported.
Abbas’s three-day visit comes as Turkey and Israel take steps to normalise ties. Last week, Turkey and Israel said they would reappoint ambassadors, four years after they were expelled over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests in Gaza against the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
Erdogan told a joint news conference that Ankara continues its long-standing solidarity with Palestine in the strongest way.
He said that Turkey, which has recognised the Palestinian state from the moment it was proclaimed, defends the vision of a two-state solution on every platform.
“We have clearly demonstrated our response to the Israeli attacks and civilian casualties,” he said.
Erdogan has been a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause who has branded Israel a “terrorist state”.
Abbas welcomes Turkish support
Erdogan said that Palestinian authorities, including different political factions, welcome the normalisation of ties between Turkey and Israel and that they want the dialogue to continue.
“On the contrary, our Palestinian brothers also express that these steps will contribute to the solution of the Palestinian issue and the improvement of the situation of the Palestinian people,” Erdogan said.
Abbas did not mention Turkish-Israeli relations in his comments, but thanked Erdogan for his past support.
“I would like to thank you for the close attention and hospitality you have shown us,” Abbas told Erdogan. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)