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Turkey to host Netanyahu and Abbas separately next week

While the meetings will be three days apart, Erdogan will discuss current regional and global issues with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a press conference during the Nato Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 12 July 2023 (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be hosted in Turkey during the same week, the Turkish presidency announced on Thursday.

Turkey will host Abbas on 25 July and Netanyahu on 28 July. 

“The leaders who will come to our country upon the invitation of President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan will exchange views on current regional and global issues,” the office said in a statement.

During the official meetings between Erdogan and Abbas, Turkey-Palestine relations will be discussed, as well as the latest developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Other regional and international issues will also be talked about, the statement said.

“The steps that can be taken to further develop the cooperation between Turkey and the friendly and brotherly Palestinian State will also be among the agenda items of the meeting.”

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In the meeting between Erdogan and Netanyahu, the bilateral relations of Turkey and Israel will be “reviewed in all their dimensions”, as well as the steps needed to be taken to improve cooperation. 

“During the meetings, it is also envisaged to exchange views on current regional and international issues, as well as bilateral relations.”

In May 2022, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's former minister of foreign affairs, reiterated his country's support for the independence and sovereignty of Palestinians at the start of his rare two-day visit to the occupied West Bank and Israel.

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Speaking after meeting his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Maliki, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Cavusoglu said that Turkey’s "support for the Palestinian cause is completely independent from the course of our relations with Israel".

In August 2022, Israel and Turkey restored full diplomatic relations by trading ambassadors. In 2018, Turkey downgraded relations with Israel after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during the Great March of Return.

The decision to restore relations came after then-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid's visit to Ankara and his meetings with Cavusoglu, and his conversation with Erdogan.

In November 2022, during bilateral talks, Turkey refused to comply with Israeli demands requesting the deportation of Hamas leaders living in the country.

Cavusoglu said Ankara does not view Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement that rules the Gaza Strip, as a terror group and refused to expel them.

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