Gaza is ready for Turkish prime minister, Haniyah says
Gaza Prime Minister İsmail Haniyah. AA photoGaza Prime Minister İsmail Haniyah said today the coastal enclave was ready to host Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a day after Erdoğan said he could make a surprise visit to the Hamas-controlled region "at any time."
“Prime Minister Erdoğan won the hearts and minds of every Palestinian with his brave stance in Davos. I’m telling to the prime minister: Gaza is waiting for you,” Haniyah told a group of Turkish reporters visiting him in his office according to the Turkish Prime Ministry’s public diplomacy account on Twitter.
Erdoğan had previously said he could make a surprise visit at any time. “Gaza is ready. We have not been able to prepare ourselves because of incidents. We could make a surprise [visit] at any time.” He had earlier said he intended to visit Gaza in April, before announcing that the trip would finally take place after his talks in the United States.
Haniyah said Erdoğan’s visit would be a big step toward lifting the Israeli embargo. The Gaza premier met Erdoğan with Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Ankara last week.
Haniyah thanked Turkey for the assistance and support it provided to Palestinian people and said Turkey was a model country for Palestine. “Palestinian foreign policy is in line with Turkish foreign policy. Turkey is a model country for Palestine.”
The Gaza premier also expressed his hopes that Erdoğan’s visit would have a positive effect on Hamas-Fatah ties. “Prime Minister Erdoğan always says Hamas and Fatah should reconcile with each other. His visit might end this problem. The aim is unity of Palestine,” Haniyah said.