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Newsline: Turkey condemns Israeli action against Palestinians, re-appointment of ambassadors due in May

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he had told his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas that he condemned Israeli “intervention on worshippers” at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque and threats to its “status or spirit”. Erdogan’s comments come amid efforts by Turkey and Israel in recent weeks to normalise their long-strained ties, as part of a regional charm offensive launched by Ankara in 2020. Meanwhile, the re-appointment of ambassadors by Turkey and Israel is expected in May. On Friday, at least 152 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli riot police inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the latest outbreak in an upsurge of violence that has raised fears of a slide back to wider conflict. “During our call, I told Mr Abbas that I strongly condemned Israel’s intervention on worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and that we will stand against provocations and threats to its status or spirit,” Erdogan said on Twitter. “Turkey always stands with Palestine,” he added. Erdogan later said he had discussed developments at Al-Aqsa with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, adding he Israel’s “interventions and provocations” had “unacceptable” results. They also discussed possible joint steps for regional peace, Erdogan added. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkeys-erdogan-says-condemns-israeli-160251559.html) Turkey has in the past launched various initiatives within the United Nations and Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) against Israeli actions towards Palestinians and its policies regarding Jerusalem or its status. Regional rivals Turkey and Israel expelled ambassadors in 2018 and have often traded barbs over the Palestinian conflict, Turkish support of the Hamas militant group, which runs Gaza, and other issues. Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would visit Israel and Palestine in mid-May and discuss the re-appointment of ambassadors with his Israeli counterpart during the visit.

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