Israel must return to '67 borders for solution: Turkish PM

Israel must recognize a Palestinian state according to pre-1967 borders for a two-state solution to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Turkish Premier Erdogan said. He also noted that Fatah and Hamas must reconcile for peace talks.

Israel must return to '67 borders for solution: Turkish PM

World Bulletin/News Desk

A possible two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would require Israel to return to borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

In search for a solution to the long-boiling conflict, Erdogan referred to the 'four proposals' of the Middle East Quartet, comprising the United Nations (UN), the United States (US), the European Union (UN) and Russia.

"The most important of those four proposals was the number one, which is the issue of borders," Erdogan told a gathering of press members after his address at Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution. "It is requisite that Israel return to '67 borders."

The establishment of a Palestine state was a necessary condition in order for there to be a peace process, the prime minister said.

"The two-state solution was always at the forefront of discussions regarding the conflict, now we see that some of those who accept the Israeli state cannot say yes to a Palestinian state," Erdogan said. "What to talk about peace unless Israel accepts a Palestinian state first-"

Erdogan said Turkey approached the conflict as if it were a domestic issue.

"I don't say 'it's a domestic issue for us' but we approach it with that sensitivity," he said. Turkish PM conditions Hamas-Fatah reconciliation for Israeli-Palestinian peace -Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said Hamas and Fatah should immediately reconcile for Israeli-Palestinian peace

Turkey's prime minister on Friday said that reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is a must for Palestine-Israel normalization process.

"We have to acknowledge one fact within the Palestinian-Israeli normalization process, which is first of all, Hamas and Fatah should reconcile with each other. If not, negotiations with Israel cannot yield any results as it did not until now", said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, replying to questions after he delivered a speech titled "Global Order and Justice in the 21st Century" at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in Washington.

Saying, "We cannot differentiate Hamas and Fatah, both are brothers in heart,", Erdogan expressed that besides Gaza, he would also visit the West Bank in June.

He added that he would plan the date of the visit when he returned to Turkey.      

No peace without Hamas

Referring to 2009 Davos Summit, he said, "As you know, we had a Davos adventure, where I explained to Tony Blair, then the director of Quartet that if Hamas was not on the negotiation table, there will be no peace. And he told this during the session in the summit, however, we did not reach at a conclusion still."

Defining the system in Palestine as "controlled democracy", Erdogan stated that Hamas was obstructed in many ways after it had won the elections in 2006. "Hamas has not been allowed to use the authority given by the public. There are taxes to be paid, but not allowed to do so. Economic pressure started to be applied immediately. Therefore there is a new process now. An immediate national reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is important in terms of determining the negotiator party with Israel," said Erdogan.

Erdogan added that Turkey would do everything falling under its responsibility within this process, and added, "I believe we can help. We can affect to some extent."

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation    

"First and foremost, we need to see a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah," Erdogan said. "I don't believe a conclusion can be reached in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process unless they agree."

Erdogan said Turkey could do a lot to bring the two Palestinian groups together.

"We're on good terms with both Hamas and Fatah and communicate well with both. As far as we're concerned, there is no difference between them, all are our brothers," he said.      

Syrian sufferings 'must be addressed at UN'    

According to NATO findings, Syria shot 283 rockets and purportedly used a chemical weapon called sarin, Erdogan said.

"All this needs to be brought up at the Security Council and even discussed at UN General Assembly," he said.

No-fly zone

A no-fly zone over Syria would only be enforced by the decision of the Security Council, not through a joint action by the United States and Turkey, Erdogan said, adding the planned peace talks, the second round of the 'Geneva process', would be backed by his country.

The first Geneva process last June brought together major powers under the same roof, only to end in a failure to call for the ouster of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and saw the countries agree instead on a plan for political transition with little practical value. Erdogan had then described the talks as a "vain attempt."

World religious leaders to unite against Syria massacre

Upon a question, Erdogan said, "religious leaders should unite, the representatives of Islam, Christianity and Judaism should come together and give a common message to world about what kind of a stance to be taken against the massacre in Syria,"

Stating that he was anti-war, however at the point where all other means turned out to be useless, war would mean justice, Erdogan said that the role of world religious leaders was very critical before the decision to apply military means.

No FTA between US and EU without Turkey    

Regarding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed between Turkey and the US, Erdogan said that this was a move within FTA between the US and the European Union, and would take time to achieve. "However", added Erdogan, "Turkey is a member of Customs Union. Therefore within this process, Turkey will definitely take part in. The EU and the US should consider Turkey in their evaluations, as well."

China to improve life standard in East Turkestan

In response to a question about East Turkestan, Erdogan stressed that there were positive developments for improving life standards in terms of human rights by the new Chinese administration and he was hopeful about the process through a dialogue between Turkey and China. 

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2013, 10:20
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