Palestine appreciates Ankara's stance shown toward the people of Palestine and welcomes its backing for reconciliation efforts, Palestinian ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa said.
Addressing a press conference in Ankara yesterday, Mustafa said he wanted to personally thank the people of Turkey and Ankara for their support during reconciliation talks in Palestine.
"Relations with Turkey have expanded across every area. We want to thank the Republic of Turkey and the people of Turkey for their support for the unity government," Mustafa said.
Earlier in October, Turkey welcomed the Palestinian unity government cabinet meeting held in the Gaza Strip, saying it was a positive step toward unity among Palestinians. "The train of reconciliation has been on track, and it continues to move forward," Mustafa said.
"Turkey will continue in the period ahead with its support for efforts to conclude the process of Palestinian reconciliation as soon as possible, which we consider essential for the two-state solution and indispensable for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East," a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said late Wednesday. The West Bank and Gaza Strip have been politically divided since 2007.
Slamming Israel for being the only country in the world to speak against the unity government, Mustafa said the Rafah border gate will return to normal for the first time in 10 years. "It will allow our people in Gaza to roam freely and give them freedom of movement."
BALFOUR DECLARATION "DOCUMENT OF KILLINGS"
Mustafa denounced the Balfour Declaration, marking its 100th anniversary today. "This declaration is the cause of all the tragedies that the Palestinian people have experienced in the past and right now," he said.
Calling the declaration "the document of killings of the century," Mustafa said the suffering that Palestinians have had to bear started with it. "The British government granted Palestinian lands with no right to a community not entitled to it on Nov. 2 1917."
Mustafa argued that Jews owned only 8 percent of Palestine in 1917 and were small in number.
Slamming today's British government for holding a ceremony on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which will be celebrated today, the Palestinian envoy expressed his frustration with British Prime Minister Theresa May. "This celebration will be an offensive celebration, not only for Palestinians, but for all Muslims, and for humanity."
The ambassador extended the thanks of the state of Palestine to all of the countries taking a stance against the celebration, such as Chile and Turkey. "We wanted Theresa May to cancel this celebration, but she declared in their parliament that she was proud of the declaration and the events that followed it. … Britain must officially apologize to the Palestinian people to make up for this historic mistake."
MOST PROJECTS IN GAZA CARRIED OUT BY TURKEY
Praising Turkey's humanitarian and development efforts across Palestine, and especially in Gaza, Mustafa said most projects in Gaza have been carried out by Turkey.
"We will launch three important projects with our Turkish friends. The first is the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the most developed and largest hospital in the region. The second is a housing project with the support of TİKA [Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency]. The third is the reconstruction of mosques that have been damaged by war and blockades," he said.
So far, TİKA has completed 349 projects in Palestine since the Palestine Coordination Program Office started the work in 2005. The cooperation and coordination agency has undertaken social projects in infrastructure, administrative infrastructure, education, emergency, health, production, renovation and water and sanitation.