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INTERNATIONAL > US asked Erdoğan to delay Gaza trip: Kerry

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) shows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the skyline of the city before the start of a meeting in Istanbul April 21, 2013. REUTERS photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) shows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the skyline of the city before the start of a meeting in Istanbul April 21, 2013. REUTERS photo

Sevim Songün Demirezen Sevim Songün Demirezen sevim.songun@hurriyet.com.tr

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said today he told Turkey’s prime minister during a meeting in Istanbul to delay his planned visit to Gaza to because of the “critical timing,” but added that it was Erdoğan’s decision to make or postpone the visit.

“We have expressed to [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] that we really think that [the visit] would be better delayed and shouldn’t take place at this point for many different reasons. Of course the prime minister will make his own decision on that,” Kerry told reporters in Istanbul, adding that the issue would be further discussed during Erdoğan’s upcoming trip to Washington.

Erdoğan had been expected to visit Gaza this month but postponed it until he travels to Washington to meet U.S. President Barack Obama on May 16.

Kerry also said Israel and Palestinians should not be distracted during this critical peace process, citing the reasons why Erdoğan should delay his planned visit top Gaza.

“But it is our feeling that … the timing of that would be critical in respect to peace process that we are trying to get off the ground. We would like to see the parties begin with as little outside distraction as possible,” Kerry said, adding that it would be more helpful for Erdoğan to wait for the right circumstances for such a visit.

The Hamas rulers of Gaza slammed Kerry for urging the Turkish prime minister to delay his visit to the Palestinian territory, Agence France-Presse reported.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Kerry and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas - who met in Istanbul earlier in the day - of "collusion in a bid to maintain the [Israeli] blockade on Gaza."

"Hamas denounces the U.S. position calling for the cancellation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gaza. This proves U.S. involvement in consecrating the Gaza blockade," Abu Zuhri said in a statement.


April/21/2013

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mara mcglothin

4/25/2013 6:36:05 PM

KEREM I think you are correct.

kerem atan

4/22/2013 10:04:26 PM

@cemal ahmet.The world is not ready for another 'one minute' and i dont think Mr PM will be taken so seriously any more as he already loses his credibility in the middle east

cemal ahmet

4/22/2013 2:23:13 PM

@turk oz -you wrote;"It will be hard one to swallow"- dont worry it wont .Mr.PM, may probably take it as ultimatum and no doubt will digest it and all-in-all he will learn & earn .Also Kerry asked "if there is military coup on the horizon or on the cards?" BOOM or BUST ? is it that simple to say "one minute"? Deja vu ?

Rimon Tree

4/22/2013 9:32:18 AM

Erdogan is one of the most irrationally guided Muslim leaders the ME has got. Nobody in the West really appreciates him or has any respect left for him. The West only deals with him when necessary, that's all. Turkey could already be much more ahead on every field if she would stop this man's unhealthy personal ambitions!

ilker avni

4/22/2013 3:34:22 AM

@ Jim Handley Let me remind you 2009/10 invasion of Gaza 1800 civillians were killed by Israel useing banned phospheous bombs,which cause longterm cancer,three quarters were Palenstinian women and children,thousands of children have long term cancer as a result,many are born abnormal.Erdogan has influeance over Hamas and israel,Turks building Hospitals and schools in Gaza is proof of this.Israel is desperate to normalise ties with Turkey,they need Turkeys energy hub to Europe.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

4/22/2013 3:07:16 AM

I cannot understand why Erdogan's trip is so important to some people. Erdogan is not going there with cash in his pocket, Israel does not want Erdogan's mediation anyway, according to comments here, Control center is already planned in Jordan, Erdogan does not have any influence in the Mideast, Erdogan is not the first to visit Gaza, so on so forth. So, why do we care if he goes there?

Rich Murphy

4/22/2013 2:42:18 AM

If Turkiye has learned any lesson from how Arabs treated Turks in the near past, it would never get involved in their problems again. I am sure Turks (supposedly Arabs' brothers in Islam), who were massacred by Arabs who cooperated with the victors of WWI to topple Ottoman Empire are turning in their graves. The AK Party and PM Erdoğan, failed to learn that lesson, are committing the most disrespect to the memories of the Turks massacred by Arab terrorists.

Faruk Timuroglu

4/21/2013 11:33:48 PM

Since Israel want to have the possibility to block Obama’s peace initiative, would never include Hamas in the process. Means; no Hamas no peace. Therefore, Hamas might be right in "collusion bid” theory. However, there might be a more sophisticated one – another “one minute” show – between Obama and Erdogan, which guarantees Erdogan’s win in presidential constitution and election.

alkan alkan

4/21/2013 9:47:36 PM

It is advisable to heed the boss's orders...

jim handley

4/21/2013 9:37:15 PM

There is no peace process and likely won't be one. Certainly Erdogan has no influence with Israel as he's already taken sides with her enemies. Erdogan wants to visit Hamas which doesn't recognize Israel and the US considers terrorists due to taking their past targeting of civilians. Hamas only stopped when Israel took out their leadership.
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