Turkey in contact with Israel for truce between former and Hamas
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu . AA PhotoAnkara has stepped up contacts with Israel in order to try to achieve a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.
"Turkey is determined to keep channels open with all parties, directly and indirectly, if it can protect every single brother from Gaza … There are views that have been delivered from Israel to us," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters on Tuesday before departing for Cairo.
He is set to cross from the Egyptian capital into Gaza with a delegation of foreign ministers from a number of Arab countries, seeking to show support for the Palestinians.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry official confirmed to the Hürriyet Daily News that contact had been made with the Israeli authorities.
Turkey has abstained from talks with Israel since 2011, following the collapse of negotiations with its once close ally that sought to obtain an apology for the killing of nine Turks by Israeli soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara ship, which was trying to break an embargo on Gaza in 2010.
Undersecretary of Turkey's Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan and deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ömer Çelik are conducting contacts with relevant parties for a truce. They remained in Cairo after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to the country over the weekend.
"Our aim is to provide a sustainable truce in Gaza," Davutoğlu said, adding that they were working on the technicalities of the cease-fire. "First we should provide truce. Then restrictions on Gaza should be removed in order to maintain a permanent cease-fire."
A further step would be the process of recognition of Palestine as a non-member state to the United Nations on Nov. 29, he said, adding: "A Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem is inevitable."
Turkey will submit official request for Patriots as soon as possible: Davutoğlu
Meanwhile, Davutoğlu also stated that NATO member Ankara would formally ask the alliance for Patriot missiles to protect its border with conflict-wracked Syria. "[Patriots] are a precautionary measure, for defense in particular," he told reporters before leaving for Gaza.
"We will submit the formal request as soon as possible." He said the necessary contacts were ongoing and that they had reached the "final stage" in the application.