PM: mediation role does not prevent Turkey from telling truth

Turkish PM Erdogan said on Tuesday his government remains committed to mediating a peace deal between Palestine and Israel.

PM: mediation role does not prevent Turkey from telling truth
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his government remains committed to mediating a peace deal between Palestine and Israel.

Erdogan also said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had phoned him on Monday to ask him to continue Turkey's role as a Middle East mediator.

Erdogan told Shimon Peres on Jan. 30 Israel knows very well how to kill people and babies during a panel discussion, that included Ban and the Arab League's Amr Moussa, on the Israeli invasion in Gaza at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Erdogan then stormed off the stage.

"If a demand arises from the parties, we again would shoulder this mission (of mediation)," Erdogan told members of his party in parliament.

"The role of mediation does not prevent us from telling the truth. We don't voice our criticisms only to Israel, we tell every side, including Hamas."

Turkey has helped negotiate a Hamas-led ceasefire after Israel announced a "ceasefire" that stopped 22-day offensive in Gaza killing 1300 Palestinians and wounded 5300.

Turkey has also led indirect talks between Syria and Israel and sent peacekeeping troops to southern Lebanon.

Thousands demonstrated in the Gaza Strip in support of Erdogan's comments to Peres, and thousands also cheered him in Istanbul upon his return from Davos.

Agencies
Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2009, 17:01
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