Abbas to visit Turkey next week: Diplomat

Abbas to visit Turkey next week: Diplomat

RAMALLAH - Anadolu Agency
Abbas to visit Turkey next week: Diplomat

AFP Photo

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will visit the Turkish capital of Ankara on Jan. 12 to discuss the repercussions of the U.N. Security Council’s failure to adopt a draft resolution setting a deadline for the ending of Israeli occupation, a Palestinian diplomat has said.

Abbas will meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a number of other senior Turkish officials to discuss issues related to Palestinian statehood, the diplomat, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency on Jan. 7.

The official said the talks would also tackle the reconstruction of the war-battered Gaza Strip following an Israeli offensive last summer that left more than 2,160 Palestinians dead - mostly civilians - and thousands of homes destroyed.

The two leaders will also discuss recent tension in occupied East Jerusalem, home to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque, the diplomat said.

The Palestinian Authority has yet to formally announce Abbas’ visit, which will come less than one month after a similar visit from Khaled Meshaal, the Qatar-based leader of the Palestinian Hamas movement.

While in Turkey, Meshaal had attended a conference organized by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council rejected an Arab-backed Palestinian draft resolution that had set 2017 as a deadline for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the occupied West Bank.

The bill failed to win the nine votes needed to pass, with the U.S. - Israel’s longstanding, veto-wielding ally - voting against the proposal.

In response to the bill’s failure, Abbas applied for Palestinian membership in 20 international treaties and organizations, including the International Criminal Court, which would - theoretically - allow the Palestinian Authority to sue Israel for war crimes.

The Israeli government, in turn, halted the transfer of some $175 million of Palestinian tax revenues, collected monthly on behalf of the Palestinian Authority .

The funds represent an essential source of income for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority , which uses it to pay the salaries of the employees of a unity government drawn up last summer.