Turkey could mediate between Palestine, Israel - FM Malki - ednews.net

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Turkey could mediate between Palestine, Israel - FM Malki

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Turkey can serve as a mediator and host an international peace conference for the conflict between Palestine and Israel, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in an interview published on Monday.
 
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Malki said that they, as Palestinians, have always advocated holding an international peace conference for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
 
"Now the parties will decide where this international peace conference will be held. Usually, the parties choose a country that is genuinely friendly to both parties. Turkey can play this role," he said.
 
A two-state solution is possible in the Israel-Palestine issue, Malki stated, adding that there is worldwide consensus on this issue. Malki emphasized that they have been working hard for years to achieve this, underlining that they cannot easily abandon the goal.
 
The foreign minister stated that the world should either impose the two-state solution on the parties or work towards an international conference where it can be implemented. “But the problem is, what if Israel rejects this two-state solution? What other alternative do we have? This is a really important question. Is this alternative a single state? Do you think Israel will accept the one-state solution? Of course, Israel will reject it. For the peace of Israel, Palestine, the region and the world, the two-state solution must be implemented and the international community must convince Israel. It's in their best interest to accept this two-state solution before it's too late. Of course, if they refuse to choose the two-state solution, they will have to pay the price.”
 
When asked about Turkey's stance on the Palestinian issue, Malki said: "Turkey has always stood by the Palestinian cause. Not just President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan, (the) government or Parliament, but Turkish people too."
 
Malki noted that President Erdoğan has always been critical of Israel's attitudes and behaviors, adding that Turkey is on the "right side of the story" in the Palestinian cause.
 
Asked whether the Turkey-Israel rapprochement will make a positive contribution to the Palestinian issue, Maliki replied: “I hope so. Turkey says that reestablishing relations with Israel could help the Palestinian cause.”
 
Stating that Turkey broke off relations with Israel in 2018 due to "Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people and violation of international law," he stated that the situation remains unchanged since 2018.
 
Malki explained that his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, reaffirmed that any restructuring of relations with Israel would not come at the expense of Turkey's relationship with the Palestinians. "I believe it. Because Turkey will not give up its relationship with the Palestinians,” he assured. “We always know where Turkey stands.”
 
Malki also stressed that Israel will not change its stance on the construction of Jewish settlements and the violation of Palestinian rights.
 
Asked what Turkey's role could be in the mediation between Israel and Palestine, Malki said: “If Turkey wants to play a role, it's really up to Turkey. Turkey showed diplomatic leadership by bringing the Ukrainians and Russians together on Turkish soil. If Turkey wants to try the same for Israel and Palestine, we hope it succeeds. Turkey may want to do this. Turkey did not tell us that it intends to bring the parties together.”
 
Israeli President Isaac Herzog last week visited Turkey and met with President Erdoğan. Describing Herzog's visit as a "new turning point" in relations, Erdoğan said: "Our common goal with Israel is to revive the political dialogue between our countries based on common interests, respect for mutual sensitivities."
 
Herzog, for his part, said the aim is to lay foundations for the development of friendly relations between Turkey, Israel and the peoples of the two countries.
 
"Israel and Turkey can and should engage in a cooperation that will impact this region we all call home," Herzog said.
 
The two countries also plan to cooperate in the field of energy in the Eastern Mediterranean.
 
In recent months, the two regional powers have sought a rapprochement after nearly a decade of broken ties. Herzog's visit, the first by an Israeli head of state in many years, was seen as a step towards moving from a period of strained ties to improved relations with Turkey.
 
Turkey has also recently been working to improve relations with several countries in the region as part of a normalization process launched in 2020.
 
Ankara, which supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has condemned Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its policy toward Palestinians, while Israel has called on Turkey to drop support for the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which runs Gaza.
 
Last month, Turkey said it would not abandon its commitment to Palestine in order to broker closer ties with Israel.

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