Turkey will not ‘sacrifice’ Palestinians to tighten ties with Israel

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Turkey will not abandon its commitment to a Palestinian state in order to forge closer ties with Israel, Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu said on Tuesday, ahead of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s scheduled visit to Turkey next month.

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Ankara, which supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its policy towards the Palestinians, while Israel has called on Turkey to relinquish its support for Hamas. governs Gaza.

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Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Tsavusoglu said a possible normalization between Turkey and Israel could strengthen Ankara’s role in finding a two-state solution, but said Ankara would not compromise on its stance.

“Any step we take with Israel in our relations, any normalization, will not be to the detriment of the Palestinian problem, as other countries have done,” Tsavousoglu said, referring to the outraged rapprochement between Israel and some Gulf states. Turkey.

“Our position there is always clear,” he added. “Ties that are being normalized a little more can increase Turkey’s role in terms of a two-state solution, as a country where we will be in touch with both sides, but we will never back down from our basic principles.”

Gulf states with ties to Israel have tried to reassure Palestinians that their countries are not abandoning the Palestinians’ quest for statehood, even though the latter’s leaders have denounced the agreements as a betrayal of their purpose.

Turkey and Israel expelled their ambassadors in 2018 and relations between the two countries remained strained, but Ankara has taken initiatives to restore strained regional relations, including with Israel.

In November, Erdogan contacted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the first communication in years at such a high level between the two countries.

Israeli President Herzog will pay a visit to Turkey in mid-March, the first such trip in years, and said the two countries could discuss energy co-operation.

Source: Capital

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