Palestine leader Abbas hails Turkey for first envoy

Palestine leader Abbas hails Turkey for first envoy

ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency
Palestine leader Abbas hails Turkey for first envoy

Turkish President Abdullah Gül (L) discussed the Middle East peace with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2R) in Istanbul. DHA photo

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Ankara today for appointing an ambassador to the territory – the first envoy to be recognized by Palestine.

The Palestinian president, who lauded Turkey for appointing Şakir Torunlar during a visit to Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gül, voiced his wish that the step would be an example to states which support Palestine.

Gül said the move represented a first concrete step in terms of Palestinians’ gains within the context of international law since upgrading its United Nations status to a non-member observer state in 2012.

Torunlar recently presented his credentials to Abbas in Ramallah.

Abbas is in Turkey for talks with Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and U.S. State of Secretary John Kerry. The Palestinian president also expressed his gratitude to Turkey for its support to Palestine in all areas.

Torunlar served as Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem. The title of Turkey’s consul general was upgraded to “ambassador” after Palestine was given non-member state status in the United Nations. During their meeting, Gül and Abbas discussed the Middle East peace process and the reconciliation between Fatah and Gaza.