'Erdogan to Abbas: Turkey will support PA statehood bid'

Turkish president reportedly calls for global support of Palestinian unity gov't; Erekat says Turks to enlist more nations to back state, Ma'an reports.

June 24, 2011 19:23
2 minute read.
Abbas (L) and Erdogan in Ankara, Friday.

abbas and erdogan. (photo credit: Stringer Turkey / Reuters)


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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday pledged to support Palestinian plans for statehood at the UN this September in his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Turkish daily Today's Zaman reported.

According to the report, Erdogan said during a joint press conference in Ankara that a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be reached if a Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital, were established.

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The Turkish president also reiterated calls on the international community to back Palestinian efforts to form a unity government, and was quoted as saying, "We told President Abbas that we do not want brothers to shed each other's blood.”

During the press conference, Abbas thanked the Turkish government for its support, and said that efforts to establish a Palestinian unity government were continuing and would conclude soon.

Meanwhile, PLO official Saeb Erekat, also in Turkey this week, said Friday that the Turks promised to help the Palestinians enlist additional nations to support their bid for statehood, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

"Turkey will help us in getting more of the nations to recognize the Palestinian state," Ma'an quoted Erekat as saying.

The PLO official added that Turkey was "fully ready" to back the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN.

Erekat said the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, scheduled to begin next week with Turkey's participation, will be a forum where "messages will be sent to all countries across the world to recognize the Palestinian state," Ma'an reported.

Erekat also commented on reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to hold peace talks based on 1967-lines, saying, "I should hear this from Netanyahu personally."

The former PLO negotiator also denied reports that the PA is considering accepting less than a full settlement freeze before re-entering negotiations with Israel, calling the reports "a lie."

Earlier this week, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a surprise visit to Istanbul, the Turkish daily Today's Zaman reported.

The two leaders discussed the recent impasse in Hamas-Fatah efforts to create a unity government.

During the meeting between Davutoglu urged Mashaal to maintain Palestinian unity amid the group's opposition to the re-appointment of Fatah-backed Salam Fayyad as prime minister of the new government.

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