World Bulletin/News Desk
A Palestinian state should be established as soon as possible within the 1967 borders, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
Cavusoglu, speaking after decorating the outgoing Palestinian ambassador in Ankara with outstanding service award, accused Israel’s “aggressive and ugly attitude” towards holy places in Palestine of bringing new chaos to the region.
Israel briefly closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in October after an extremist rabbi was wounded in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.
"There is no explanation that Palestinians were debarred from having the right to found their own state, when Israel got that right in 1948," Cavusoglu said, after giving Nabil Maarouf an award for outstanding service."
The Turkish foreign minister said that Palestine has been passing through a hard period because of Israel's actions.
Tension has been running high in the West Bank and Jerusalem since July when a total of 2,145 Palestinians – mostly civilians – were killed and thousands of residential homes and public facilities were totally or partially destroyed during Israel's 51-day military operation on the Gaza Strip.
Palestine, which declared independence in 1988, unsuccessfully applied for UN membership in 2011; it became a UN non-member observer state in 2012.
More than 130 countries have now recognized Palestine as a state, despite objections by Israel.
Palestinians aim to establish a state within pre-1967 war borders with a capital in East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel.
“We are sure that, sooner or later, with the support of Turkey and our Muslim brothers, the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital will be established”, Maarouf told reporters.
Maarouf, who is due to leave Turkey after serving nine years as the Palestinian ambassador in Ankara, said that his work had been easy do thanks to Turkey’s political and economic support.
“The Turkish government and Turkish people strongly support the Palestinian issue,” he said, adding that Ankara had not ignored one of his requests while on duty.
The ambassador thanked Turkey for its support in internationalizing the Palestinian issue: “Today Europe is closer to Palestine; we are gaining friends,” he said.
The European Parliament voted Wednesday for a nonbinding resolution calling for recognition of Palestinian statehood to take place as a result of peace talks with Israel.
The joint resolution backs "in principle" the recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution to the conflict.
Separately, the EU General Court ruled on Wednesday that the decision to list Hamas on a 2001 terrorist list was not based on "acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities, but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet."
Despite the court’s decision, the "the EU continues to consider Hamas a terrorist organization," European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2014, 14:45