Abbas set for Turkey to show gratitude

Abbas set for Turkey to show gratitude

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Abbas set for Turkey to show gratitude

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Turkey next week to thank for the country’s support in UN vote. REUTERS photo

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit Turkey next week in a show of gratitude for Turkey’s support in obtaining an upgraded U.N. status for his country, Palestinian officials said yesterday.

An exact date for Abbas’ visit has not yet been set, the official said, noting that it was likely to take place either Dec. 9 or 10. “This will be the first visit abroad by President Abbas following the vote at the United Nations General Assembly,” officials told the Hürriyet Daily News, suggesting the importance Palestine attached to Turkey’s support in the latest vote.

World’s conscience
During the Nov. 29 vote, 138 countries in the 193-member assembly voted in favor of Palestine, 41 abstained and five did not participate, while nine, including the United States, Israel, Canada and a few Pacific island nations, voted against the proposal.

“This is actually a reflection of the world’s conscience,” President Abdullah Gül said yesterday when reporters asked about the U.N. vote during a joint press conference with Somalia’s visiting president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. “I hope that those who said ‘no’ derive a lesson from this. Because opposing the world’s conscience will wear them down after the conscience is voiced in this way.”

Gül also warned of the implications of Israel’s plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in a highly contentious strip of the Palestinian-controlled West Bank near Jerusalem.

“This will produce very dangerous results. In fact, seeing this, a lot of European countries warned Israel,” Gül said, noting that these potential results would serve against Israel’s interests while expressing hope that Israel drops its plans.

While in Turkey, Abbas is also expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.