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Turkey's PM intends to visit Gaza soon

January 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he is planning to visit the Gaza Strip “soon”. The Turkish Anatolia news agency reported that Erdogan hasn’t announced a date for the visit, but added that his goal is to meet with the “oppressed” Palestinian people.

Speaking to the assembly of the ruling AKP party in Ankara, Mr Erdogan explained that Turkey “will monitor closely the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to ensure Israel’s implementation of its pledge”.

Relations between Turkey and Israel were downgraded following the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010 during which nine Turkish peace activists were shot dead. Last Friday, Israel’s Prime Minister called Erdogan to apologise for the attack. He pledged to fulfil Turkey’s other demands for the restoration of normal diplomatic and other relations. These included compensation for the victims’ families and lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip.