Turkey won’t abandon its Palestinian policy for normalization with Israel: Minister

Turkey won’t abandon its Palestinian policy for normalization with Israel: Minister

Turkey won’t abandon its Palestinian policy for normalization with Israel: Minister

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Feb. 10 said that Turkey’s normalization with Israel would not mean a change in its policy in the Palestinian cause.

“Normalizing our relations with Israel does not mean giving up our basic position on the Jerusalem cause, the Palestinian cause and the Masjid al-Aqsa. We will not normalize our ties at the expense of the Palestinian cause,” the minister told broadcaster TRT Haber, adding that Israel also knows this.

Cavusoglu noted that Turkey and Israel launched a new dialogue process as the latter formed a new government. “The new government’s foreign minister also believes in a two-state solution” for the Palestinian problem, the minister said.

“Can we now say yes to the occupation and demolition of Palestinian homes there? Our policy on this issue is very clear,” he said. The minister emphasized that Turkey could contribute to a two-state solution for the conflict as it had done in the past, having contact with both sides.

Turkey continues its relations with Russia in the same understanding, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Ankara rejects any issue if it is not for mutual benefit but welcomes if it benefits both sides.

“If Russia is an actor in the region, we believe in the benefit of working with Russia to a certain extent,” he stated.

Elaborating on the efforts to calm down the tension between Kiev and Russia over a conflict in the east Ukrainian border, the minister said Turkey aims to thaw strain first and then reach permanent stability and peace in the region.

“So it may take some time for the problem to resolve completely. But confidence-building steps need to be taken,” the minister added.

Çavuşoğlu undermined that some actors involved in the problem are taking steps only to show off, while some of them are “increasing” the tension while attempting to solve the issue.

“Others prefer megaphone diplomacy. Megaphone diplomacy can be useful when appropriate, but it is generally useless. Therefore, unnecessary statements should be avoided,” he stated.

Ukraine is uncomfortable over statements that argue Russia could “occupy” the county at any time, the minister said.

“It causes panic. It causes a serious decrease in the value of the Ukrainian national currency. It also harms Ukraine economically,” Çavuşoğlu added.

Ukraine favors Turkey’s possible role of mediation, and Ankara will also talk about the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his planned visit to Turkey. Turkey is not acting boldly on these efforts and follows the balances in the region, the minister said.

“It is not realistic for Turkey, Ukraine, or any other country to completely engage all of their relations with one side. If we want peace and tranquility and economic development in the region, everyone must follow a balanced policy with others. In this process, we have shown how strong a NATO ally we are. At the same time, we need to have good relations with Russia,” Çavuşoğlu stated.