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Palestinians bet on Erdogan to achieve reconciliation: Speaker

June 5, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes the oath of office to become Turkiye’s president at Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkiye on June 03, 2023 [Evrim Aydın – Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians pin hope on Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to heal the inter-Palestinian rift and achieve reconciliation, head of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Rawhi Fattouh, said.

The Palestinian official participated in the swearing-in ceremony of the Turkish President on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“I was delegated by President Mahmoud Abbas to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of President Erdogan, and to express the depth of the brotherly relations between the two leaders,” Fattouh told Anadolu in an interview.

“We express our pride in the Turkish electoral process that took place in a fair and free manner,” he said. “It was a very successful democratic experience.”

Fattouh, whose PNC acts as the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said Palestinians pin hope on President Erdogan to support their cause at the local, regional and international levels.

“We bet on President Erdogan to advance the political atmosphere to broader horizons,” he said.

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“Palestinians suffer division and we put our hope in President Erdogan to achieve national reconciliation.”

A political and geographical division has prevailed in the Palestinian Territories since 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip.

While Fatah Movement has since ruled the West Bank, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Many efforts have failed to end the rift between the two rival movements.

Turkish democracy

Fattouh congratulated the Turkish people on their democratic experiment.

“The presidential and parliamentary elections [in Turkiye] were a success and the Palestinian people hold all respect and love for Turkiye for its support to the Palestinian people and their cause,” he said.

“We wish advancement and prosperity for Turkiye,” Fattouh said. “We cherish our relationship with Turkiye, and we thank the Turkish people for their support for the struggle of the Palestinian people.”

US role

Fattouh, on the US role in the Middle East peace-making:

“Washington is the one that refuses the two-state solution,” he said.

“The US administration can force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, end the siege on Gaza and establish a Palestinian state if it wants,” he said.

The Palestinian official added that, “Israel’s role is functional to serve American interests, nothing more.”

He said that the US positions on the Palestinian issue are “contradictory”.

“The US administration is putting obstacles to reaching a solution,” he added. “We do not trust the American administration.”

The Palestinian official termed the current Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the most radical.

“The current government is trying to destroy all hope for a two-state solution,” Fattouh said.

READ: Israel considering wide-scale West Bank military offensive