Turkey and Qatar welcome Gaza truce
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Paris, France, Saturday, July 26, 2014. With a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza Saturday, Kerry is continuing with efforts to reach a longer truce between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Turkey and Qatar have welcomed the 12-hour ceasefire in Gaza which aims to give Palestinians the chance to receive food and water supplies and allow hospitals to get medical supplies.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Qatari counterpart Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah issued a joint statement early on July 26 following the approval of the truce by the Gaza-based Palestinian movement, Hamas, and the Israeli government.
"We reiterate our will to break our back working for a negotiated and sustained ceasefire between the two parties with the UN, USA and our other international partners," the statement said.
The statement said the two countries also appreciated Hamas' immediate approval of the truce.
Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said it would be "fantasy" to talk about his country normalizing relations with Israel under the current conditions in Gaza.
"Normalization is difficult at this point and even impossible," Arınç said late July 25 in a televised interview. "If the Israeli government changes its mentality or something positive takes place regarding the Gaza Strip, Turkey would reconsider its stance on normalization with Tel Aviv," he continued.
Turkey has said that although Israel fulfilled two of the three conditions - an apology and compensation - which Turkey had set for the normalization of ties after the Mavi Marmara incident, it remained unwilling to fulfill the third condition of lifting its embargo on Gaza.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have also said it is difficult to normalize relations with the Israeli government.
Deputy PM Arınç said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its members were against anti-Semitism in the wake of accusations against the recent statements by Erdoğan.
Arınç said: "We cannot tolerate statements aimed at Jews living in Turkey or the world."
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had called PM Erdoğan an anti-Semite after Erdoğan said there was no difference between Adolf Hitler's holocaust of the Jews and the Israeli genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.
Erdoğan rejected the accusation on July 25 by saying that he was probably the first prime minister in the world who labelled anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity.