Turkish PM rejects US request to delay Gaza visit in May

April 23, 2013 15:47

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will not reschedule his trip to the Gaza Strip, he said on Tuesday, despite a request to do so from the United States that had irked Ankara.

During a visit to Turkey on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Erdogan to delay his visit to avoid endangering US efforts to revive Ankara's ties with Israel and Middle East peace talks.

Erdogan, who has always underlined his desire to visit the Palestinian enclave, said last week he planned to go to Gaza following an official visit to the United States in May.

"Delaying my trip (to Gaza) is out of question. As I said in the past the Gaza trip will take place after my trip to the United States. There will be no delay," Erdogan told reporters, according to state media.

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