Lifting of Gaza embargo next on list: Erdogan

While discussing Israel's apology, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan stated “Next on the list is the lifting of the embargo on Gaza."

Lifting of Gaza embargo next on list: Erdogan

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope Saturday that the fence-mending in relations between Turkey and Israel would lead to a broader settlement in the region, one that would resolve the Middle East problem.

Indicating that "Israel's apology statement occurred like we wanted," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed that it was now time to lift the embargo on Gaza.

Erdogan said the process of removing the embargoes on Gaza has started, adding that the entry of civilian goods into Palestinian territories should expand to include all border gates.

On the issue of redress for the relatives of the victims of the Mavi Marmara raid, Erdogan told reporters that officials from the two countries would work on a compensation agreement.

Erdogan stated regarding the apology, “Israel's apology statement occurred as we wanted. In the process the ban regarding the embargo was lifted." Erdogan indicated that Obama was present while he spoke on the phone with Netanyahu.

Indicating that he might visit Gaza and the West Bank in April, and the United States in May, Prime Minister Erdogan said, "Without being overbearing, we arrived at this point by standing firm. The appointment of a new ambassador may not happen right away."

"My wish is that commonsense prevails in this process and we make this process a permanent one to end years-long suffering with withdrawal to 1967 borders," Erdogan told reporters.      

Turkey's ties with Israel fell to a historic low after Israeli commandos raided in May 2010 a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine Turkish citizens.      

Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador in Ankara, saying that relations would not go back to normal unless Israeli government made an official apology, paid redress to the relatives of the victims and removed blockade on Gaza.

"We need to see the implementation in this process. As long as the implementation is carried out in a healthy manner, we are willing to make positive contributions," Erdogan said.      

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Mart 2013, 17:26
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