'Erekat says Turkey to help build support for PA bid at UN'

PLO leader says Turkey "fully ready" to back statehood plans, stresses "messages will be sent to all countries to recognize Palestinian state."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 24, 2011 18:05
1 minute read.
Saeb Erekat

erekat raise the roof REUTERS 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Turkey has pledged to help the Palestinians enlist additional nations to support their bid for statehood in the United Nations this September, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

Erekat and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are currently in Turkey for meetings with Turkish government officials. "Turkey will help us in getting more of the nations to recognize the Palestinian state," Ma'an quoted Erekat as saying.

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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 Palestinian 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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