Palestinian president to hold talks in Ankara

Palestinian president to hold talks in Ankara

ANKARA
Palestinian president to hold talks in Ankara

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will hold talks in Ankara on Aug. 28 amid calls for the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to end the conflict. 

Abbas, arrived in Turkey on Aug. 27, will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the visit, İbrahim Kalın said last week. The two leaders will discuss the recent developments in al-Aqsa and Jerusalem alongside the peace process in Palestine, Kalın said.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since the failure of U.S. mediation in the spring of 2014. In January, U.S President Donald Trump pledged to urge Israelis and Palestinians for a peace deal. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, along with peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell, met with Abbas on Aug. 24 as part of a trip to the region aimed at looking at trying to renew peace negotiations.

The Palestinian administration had reportedly expressed pessimism at U.S. peace efforts, and Abbas had reportedly sought a U.S. commitment to endorse the two-state solution.

The sensitive Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem was the focus of the meeting, as there had recently been a tense standoff after Israel introduced new security measures following a terror attack in which three Arab Israelis shot two police officers dead using weapons smuggled into the al-Aqsa Mosque. The measures, including metal detectors and cameras, led to renewed violence between Palestinians and security forces, sparking outrage across the Muslim world, including the Turkish leadership. 

But facing international criticism and pressure, Israel’s security cabinet decided to remove the metal detectors. A statement released after the meeting said a new surveillance system using “smart checks” based on advanced technology would be put in place.