Kerry: US asked Erdogan to delay Gaza trip

PA president Abbas also meets with Kerry while in Istanbul to discuss Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
April 21, 2013 16:43
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and PA President Mahmoud Abbas meet in Istanbul, April 21, 2013.

Kerry and Abbas in Istanbul 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

ISTANBUL - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the United States had told Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan it would be better for him to delay a planned trip to the Gaza Strip expected at the end of May.

Erdogan, who has for years spoken of his desire to visit the Palestinian enclave, said last week he would go there after an official visit to the United States next month. But Kerry said a Turkish visit might distract from efforts to revive Middle East peace talks.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"We thought that the timing of it is really critical with respect to the peace process we are trying to get off the ground and that we would like to see the parties begin with as little outside distraction as possible," Kerry told a news conference in Istanbul.

The planned trip also would come at a sensitive time for Turkish-Israeli relations, with Washington keen to avoid spoiling a rapprochement between them following an Israeli apology in March for the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was in Istanbul over the weekend to also ask Erdogan to cancel his plans to visit Gaza.

“President Abbas is hoping to convince Erdogan to cancel the visit or delay it until the Palestinians achieve national unity,” a PA official in Ramallah said last week.

The PA believes that a visit by Erdogan to Gaza would deepen Palestinian divisions, said Azzam al-Ahmed, member of the Fatah Central Committee and a close adviser to Abbas.



Erdogan had been expected to visit Gaza this month but postponed his trip at the request of the United States. He will travel to Washington to meet President Barack Obama on May 16.

While in Istanbul, Kerry and Abbas met on Sunday in an effort to get restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The two will "continue the conversation that they've been having for several weeks now about how to get both sides back to the table," a US State Department official was quoted as saying.

Khaled Abu Tomeh contributed to this report.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN