ADDS CONTRIBUTION FROM PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT
By Ahmet Sait Akcay
ANKARA (AA) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said Israel should end actions which undermine efforts to reach a two-state solution.
Speaking alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Turkish capital Ankara, Erdogan said: “To find a solution and provide peace is not only in Palestinians’ favor but also that of Israel.”
Erdogan also described the two-state solution as the “historical responsibility of the international community to the Palestinian people”.
He went on to say that recent tensions over restrictions at the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem last month would not favor anyone.
The Israeli authorities closed down the Al-Aqsa compound and cancelled weekly Friday prayers for the first time in nearly five decades, following a shootout which left three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen dead near the flashpoint holy site in East Jerusalem in July.
“As Turkey, we always back efforts to accelerate the peace process,” Erdogan added, going on to say that the process needed to acknowledge and protect Palestinian rights.
“We do not want the holy city of Jerusalem, which we have served for four centuries, to dominate the news with blood, tears and conflict,” the Turkish president said.
President Abbas said the people of Palestine would not accept a state without Gaza, and insisted on the right to live in an independent Palestine based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.