World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey and Qatar have been invited to an upcoming donor conference in Cairo devoted to the reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s ambassador in Cairo has said.
"Over 30 foreign ministers and 50 state delegations have been invited, including Turkey and Qatar, to participate in the conference," Gamal al-Shobaki told Anadolu Agency, referring to the one-day conference slated for next Sunday.
He added that the Ramallah-based PA had drawn up a "broad reconstruction plan" for the war-battered coastal enclave.
"We've submitted the plan to all invited state delegations so they can determine the level of their contribution," al-Shobaki said.
Following last year's military ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's relations with Turkey and Qatar – which had supported the Morsi administration and Gaza-based Palestinian factions – came under strain.
Last November, Egypt downgraded its diplomatic relations with Turkey to the level of charge d'affaires and recalled its ambassador from Ankara. Turkey responded with similar measures.
Egypt's relations with Qatar, too, remain tense.
Cairo accuses Doha – the main financier of the Al Jazeera television channel, whose Egypt coverage has been highly critical since Morsi's ouster – of interfering in its domestic affairs.
Al-Shobaki, for his part, could not say what level of diplomatic representation Doha or Ankara would send to the upcoming donor conference, but said he was "optimistic about the level of attendance."
"We are hopeful that the international community will not abandon the Palestinian people," he said.
The Arab League said earlier this month that it hoped to raise $5 billion at the conference for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
The conference, chaired by Egypt and Norway, follows a ceasefire deal signed in Cairo on August 26 by Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, which ended Israel's devastating 51-day onslaught on the coastal enclave.
For seven weeks in July and August, Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.
The offensive left more than 2,150 Palestinians dead and some 11,000 others injured – the vast majority of them civilians – while destroying residential structures and infrastructure across the coastal strip.
According to Israeli figures, 67 Israeli soldiers and five civilians were killed over the same period – the highest military death toll suffered by Israel since it lost 119 troops in its 2006 war on Lebanon.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2014, 13:46