Abbas: Turkey has always been committed to Palestinian cause

(Photo: Reuters)
 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a diplomatic visit to Ankara on Wednesday said Turkey has always been committed to Palestine’s cause of being recognized as a sovereign state.

“We have appreciated Turkey’s sincerity, and we believe Turkey will continue to support us until the Palestine issue is resolved,” Abbas said during a joint press conference with Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek. “Turkey’s support is not limited to politics, it also supports us in such fields as economy, education and culture,” Abbas noted. Abbas also claimed that the internal disagreement in Palestine is very close to being resolved, recalling a meeting in December 2011 in Cairo with rival political faction Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. In parallel remarks, Çiçek indicated Turkey’s support for the Palestinians. “The Palestine issue is like Turkey’s own cause. Turkey has made efforts to protect Palestinian rights and their right to establish their own state,” Çiçek explained. Expressing appreciation for the Palestinian president’s efforts at reconciliation with Hamas, Çiçek added that Turkey wants to see the Palestinians acting in unity, which would be an important step for Palestine in acquiring sovereignty. On Wednesday Abbas also had private talks with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an. Hamas and Fatah reached a key agreement in Cairo on Dec. 22 that saw Hamas admitted into the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella organization of the Palestinian independence movement that has engaged in two decades peace talks with Israel.

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