Turkey urges world to act, renews cease-fire call over Gaza

Babacan said that solving Israel problem was a duty of also the international community, calling on Israel to end assault in Gaza.

Turkey urges world to act, renews cease-fire call over Gaza
The Turkish foreign minister called on Monday for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

"The factors of a cease-fire should be immediately set in a way that is acceptable for the parties," Babacan told a joint press conference with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem.

Babacan said there were various proposals on how the ceasefire could be secured.

"Any settlement should be guaranteed by the international community ... We believe that only an international observer group can make the settlement applicable and sustainable," Babacan told reporters.

Mualem is actually paying a one-day visit to Turkey, and was received by President Abdullah Gul and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Monday.

Babacan said that the crisis between Israel and Palestine had become graver after Israel launched a ground operation.

Many Palestinians had lost their lives so far, and there were many women and children among the dead, Babacan said.

"The tragedy in Gaza causes great agonies for our Palestinian brothers, and at the same time it triggers regional and global tensions. We cannot assume a 'wait-and-see approach' against this picture," Babacan said.

Babacan also said that Turkey had historical responsibilities about Palestinian issue, and finding a lasting solution to the problem was one of Turkey's priorities in its Middle East policy.

The incidents in Gaza could have results that could totally harm regional stability which was "actually fragile", he said.

Babacan said that the key of global peace and global crisis was the developments in the Middle East.

"It will not be possible to restore global order and peace when there is tension and a human tragedy in the Middle East," the Turkish minister said.

Babacan said that solving the problem was a duty of not only Turkey, but also the international community, and called on Israel to end military operation, and Hamas to halt its attacks against Israel.

"Ensuring compromise and unity among the Palestinians should also be one of the main elements of a settlement, and the Palestinians groups should be aware of their responsibilities to the Palestinian people and cause and behave that way," he said.

Babacan said that Turkey would continue holding talks and initiatives with determination to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The Turkish minister underlined importance of exchanging views with other countries because he thought that solving such problems would be difficult if regional countries and international community did not take action together.

"Every one's priority must be to end this human tragedy and stop the noise of weapons as soon as possible," Babacan said.

Babacan said that parties could have different expectations and priorities, but nothing could justify the deaths of civilians, women and children.

More than 500 people have been killed and hundreds of others were injured since the beginning of Israeli offensive against Gaza on December 27.

Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2009, 16:59
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