Turkey says Gaza cease-fire is 'first step'

January 18, 2009 13:05

Turkey's president welcomed on Sunday Israel's unilateral cease-fire as "a first step" toward an end to the bloodshed in Gaza. However President Abdullah Gul said that the cease-fire must be durable and that Israel must withdraw troops. Gul made his comments before traveling to Egypt to attend a meeting on Gaza. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the United States and other Western nations to exert pressure on Israel. He said that Israel must provide a deadline for withdrawing troops from Gaza.

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