Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to head to Turkey on Monday for a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Abbas’s visit comes on the heels of an announcement by Israel and Turkey that they have decided to restore full diplomatic relations.
The two countries decided to reinstate their ambassadors for the first time since 2018.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said last week that following agreements reached during his visit to Ankara as foreign minister earlier this year, and due to positive developments in Israel-Turkey relations over the past year, it was decided that the two countries would reestablish full diplomatic representation.
Abbas was invited to Turkey by Erdogan, the Palestinian ambassador to Ankara, Faed Mustafa, announced on Sunday.
What will the discussion be?
The two leaders will discuss bilateral relations and ways of developing them, he said.
Abbas will also brief Erdogan on the latest developments surrounding the Palestinian issue and hold consultations on a number of regional and international topics, Mustafa added.
PA officials in Ramallah have previously expressed dissatisfaction with Turkey for hosting several Hamas members and maintaining close ties with the group’s leaders in the Gaza Strip.
Although some Palestinians have expressed concern over the ongoing rapprochement between Israel and Turkey, the PA leadership has refrained from criticizing the move.
Earlier this year, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki was quoted as saying that the Palestinians would benefit from the normalization between Israel and Turkey. The PA, nonetheless, has refrained from commenting on last week’s announcement regarding the restoration of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Jerusalem.
A senior official in Ramallah said that despite the rapprochement, Turkey has not changed its position toward the Palestinians and the Palestinian issue.
“So far, we haven’t seen any change in the policy of Ankara,” said the official. “Even when relations between Israel and Turkey were good, we didn’t see any change.”
Some Palestinians, however, denounced Erdogan for rushing to resume Turkey’s relations with Israel.
“Only a few days have passed since the Gaza war, and here is Turkey announcing the normalization of relations with Israel,” commented Palestinian author Jihad Helles. “The Palestinian issue has become a commodity for trade. They [Turkey] are fooling the Palestinians with nice slogans so that they could serve their own interests. The Palestinian issue has been sold for a cheap price.”
Hamas, some of whose leaders and senior operatives are based in Turkey, said it continues to oppose “any form of normalization with the Zionist entity, including the [Turkish-Israeli] exchange of ambassadors.”
Hamas, however, stopped short of condemning Turkey for restoring its ties with Israel. The Gaza-based terrorist group has denounced other Arabs and Muslims for engaging in normalization with Israel.
The Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad was the only Palestinian group to denounce Turkey.
“The exchange of ambassadors and the normalization of relations will encourage the [Israeli] occupation to carry out more crimes and aggression against the Palestinians,” said Islamic Jihad spokesperson Tareq Silmi. “Any form of normalization with the Arab and Islamic countries is a stab to the Palestinians.”