Erdogan: Palestinian unity is imperative for peace

Turkish PM to meet with Hamas leaders, Abbas in visit next month to Gaza Strip and West Bank.

May 17, 2013 22:21
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Obama in a joint press conference.

Erdogan and Obama press conference 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

A reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is imperative to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, AFP reported.

"The process of unity between Fatah and Hamas, this has to be achieved. If this reconciliation is not achieved, then I don't believe that a solution or result will come out of the Israeli-Palestinian discussions," said the Turkish prime minister, who is currently visiting the US.

On Thursday, Erdogan said he intends to go ahead with plans to visit the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in June, where he will meet with both Hamas rulers and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East. I'm hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine," Erdogan said at a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama on Thursday.

It is believed Erdogan decided to meet with Palestinian Authority leaders as well in order to pacify the Americans, who object to his visit to the Strip.

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