Turkey, Egypt underline unity government of Palestine

Turkish President Gul and his Egyptian counterpart Mubarak met in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Turkey, Egypt underline unity government of Palestine

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday that Turkey and Egypt carried out joint activities in order not to let another tragedy happen in Gaza.
Gul and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak met at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace on Wednesday. After their meeting, the two presidents held a joint press conference.

Speaking at the conference, Gul said that Turkey and Egypt were the two major countries which attached great importance to the security, stability and peace in their region.

"We are carrying out joint activities in order not to let the recent tragedy in Gaza happen again," Gul said.

Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to reopen all Gaza's border crossings so that people and goods can move freely. Gaza has been under heavy blockade for most of the time since Hamas took power there in June 2007.

Gazans live under heavy Israel siege for a long time and Egypt still insists on not to opening the only Gaza border crossing in a move condemned by Muslims around the world in protests, leaving Gazans desperate to digging tunnels underground and risking their lives.

Praising Egypt's efforts for the establishment of a consensus government in Palestine, Gul said that Turkey supported all the activities carried out by Egypt in an effort to provide a permanent cease-fire.

Gul also said that Egypt would host a meeting on the reconstruction of Gaza on March 2 and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan would represent Turkey at the gathering.

Commenting on the bilateral relations between Turkey and Egypt as well, Gul said that the two countries held regular talks particularly on political matters and issues related to security.

Pointing to the improving economic relations between the countries, Gul said that the 2.5-billion USD trade volume between Turkey and Egypt would rise up to 5 billion USD soon.

On his side, Mubarak said that his country appreciated Turkey's supportive stance towards the Arab issue.

Mubarak said that the Israeli offensive would not have taken place if there had not been any disunion or conflicts within Palestine.

Egypt's stance on PLO

Pointing to the importance of reaching a "national consensus" in this country, Mubarak said he expressed during his talks with Gul that the historical place of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) should be maintained.

Hamas group is calling for new leadership for Palestinians to replace the PLO dominated by its rival President Mahmoud Abbas and the factions loyal to him. The organisation does not include Hamas and several pther groups.

"This organization is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian nation," he said.

Khaled Meshaal, the group's top leader, and other leaders of the group had said Hamas could accept a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, which changed after West attempted to create Israel state, that was not exist before, occupying Palestinian territory.

"The PLO, in its current form, has become incapable of serving the Palestinian people and has become a tool to deepen divisions," Meashal said. But Abbas has dismissed this call.

Mubarak said that the conference on the reconstruction of Gaza, which would be held in Cairo next month, would contribute to the establishment of an urgent peace in the region.

Mubarak also said that Turkey and Egypt's common desire for the formation a new Middle East, which would be a safe, peaceful and stable region, was expressed during today's meeting.

Following the meeting, Egyptian President Mubarak received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Later, President Gul hosted a banquet in honor of his Egyptian counterpart. Besides Gul and Mubarak, Prime Minister Erdogan, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Egyptian Information Minister Anas el-Fiqqi, Turkish Ambassador in Cairo Safak Gokturk and Egyptian Ambassador in Ankara Alaeddin el-Hadidi also partook in the banquet.

AA

Last Mod: 12 Şubat 2009, 10:58
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