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Abbas visits Turkey amid ground offensive in Gaza

English.news.cn   2014-07-19 06:00:59

ISTANBUL, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the Gaza crisis with Turkish President Abdullah Gul here on Friday after Israel launched ground offensive in Gaza.

Abbas said at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart that he backed a failed bid for cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, saying Egypt had proposed it at Palestinian request.

"The initiative of our Egyptian brothers in fact took place at our request," he said, "the Israeli side accepted it. We, the Palestinian side, should also accept it so that we can put the Israeli side in a difficult spot."

While praising Ankara's support for the Palestinians, Abbas said that Palestine is always in contact with Turkey and will continue to be, saying that the leaders of the two sides share the same opinion over the issue.

Abbas noted that Israel doesn't want Palestine to be internationally recognized and opposes Palestine being a member of the United Nations and other international organizations.

He also accused Israel of making up excuses so as not to enable a Palestinian government with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Turkish President Gul said that an immediate end to the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza, a sustainable cease-fire and returning to the terms of the 2012 cease-fire were top priorities for Turkey.

"Turkey will continue to stand by Palestinians," he said and thanked Abbas for paying a visit to Turkey during a critical time.

Abbas, who paid a two-day visit to the country, arrived in Istanbul on Friday afternoon and met with President Abdullah Gul. He was scheduled to have talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan late on Friday.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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