Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Sunday accused Israel of not recognizing Palestinian efforts to advance the peace process, pointing specifically to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal whom he praised for making statements emphasizing democracy and a willingness to live in peace with Israelis, Turkish Daily Today's Zaman reported.
Gul's comments came as he returned to Turkey from Vienna, where he and Defense Minister Ehud Barak made efforts to avoid meeting each other at the fourth annual World Policy Conference which both men were attending.
Gul was quoted by Today's Zaman as saying on Sunday that Israel could improve its relations with Turkey by making peace with the Palestinians and other Arab states. He said that the "Arab Spring" and the transition toward democracy in many Arab states should be used as an opportunity by Israel to make peace with those countries.
“When democracy prevails in the Middle East, Israel will eventually have to end its violence in Palestine,” Gul stated, claiming the Arab dictators had allowed Israel's policies in Gaza.