Erdoğan discusses Palestine with world leaders

Published 16.05.2018 00:00
Updated 16.05.2018 18:15
emAA File Photo/em
AA File Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Wednesday spoke with the leaders of a number of countries, including Germany, Iran, Indonesia, Qatar and Sudan and urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries to develop a "common stance" on the Gaza killings.

In his call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Erdoğan exchanged views regarding the tensions in Gaza, while both leaders agreed that the current situation makes it difficult to find a solution to the problem, reports said.

He reportedly told Russia's Putin that Israel's attacks on Palestinian demonstrators are shameful before the eyes of the world and he also informed the Russian president about the upcoming OIC meeting that will take place in Istanbul on May 18.

Erdoğan's phone call with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir came after at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and hundreds injured by cross-border Israeli gunfire on Monday.

The leaders also discussed the agenda for the upcoming extraordinary OIC meeting on Friday in Istanbul on the climbing tension in Palestine and Washington's relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The president also spoke with Jordanian King Abdullah, Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammed, Kuwaiti Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erdoğan said the international community should speak out for Palestinians' suffering and called for a firm and common stance by the OIC.

The Turkish president also held a phone call with Pope Francis later in the day to discuss the latest developments in Jerusalem and rising tensions in Gaza. Erdoğan and the pope underlined that the U.S.' decision to move its embassy violated the status of the holy city of Jerusalem and was "unacceptable".

Monday's demonstration had coincided with Israel's 70th anniversary -- an event Palestinians refer to as "The Catastrophe" -- and the relocation of Washington's Israel embassy to Jerusalem, which also took place Monday.

Since the Gaza rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by cross-border Israeli army gunfire.

Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a "state of war" in which international humanitarian law did not apply.

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