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POLITICS > Turkish PM to visit Gaza despite US request for delay

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Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to visit Gaza after his trip to U.S. on May 16. DHA photo

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to visit Gaza after his trip to U.S. on May 16. DHA photo

There will not be any change in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Gaza visit plans, a Turkish diplomatic source has said following U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s demand the visit be postponed due to “critical timing.”

“Kerry already gave this message during his meeting with Prime Minister Erdoğan when he came [to Turkey] on April 7. His recent statements are neither a new thing, nor a secret for us. It would be wrong to evaluate these [Kerry’s statements] as a ‘U.S. reaction to Erdoğan’s Gaza visit,’” an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told daily Hürriyet, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“For now there isn’t any change in the prime minister’s Gaza schedule. The issue will be discussed during Erdoğan’s visit [to the United States] on May 16. This is what Kerry says too. After the U.S. trip, Erdoğan’s Gaza trip will be realized,” he said.

The Gaza visit is also expected to be discussed today during Erdoğan’s and President Abdullah Gül’s meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

April/22/2013

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