Syrian FM Moalem to visit Ankara on Monday to discuss Gaza

Turkey announced that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Moalem will be arriving Monday to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Turkey, which has been acting as a go between mediating Israeli-Syrian peace talks since April 2008, announced last week that it was halting such efforts in light of Israel's Operation Cast Lead against Hamas, which Prime Minister Erdogan termed a "crime against humanity." Jerusalem, an ally of Ankara, was angered by Erdogan's comments and the dissatisfaction with the strong language he used was conveyed to the Turks via private channels.