Turkiye says it will continue to stand by Palestine for independent state
Ankara will pursue normalized ties with Israel in coordination with Palestinian Authority, says foreign minister
Turkiye will continue to stand by the Palestinian people for independent and sovereign Palestine, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkiye will pursue normalized ties with Israel in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.
"Our support for the Palestinian cause is completely independent of our ties with Israel, but I would like to say that our Palestine policy cannot be changed," Cavusoglu stressed.
He pointed out that preserving the status and sanctity of the Masjid al-Aqsa is important for all Muslims.
"On this occasion, we wish Allah's mercy once again to all our Palestinian brothers and sisters who lost their lives," Cavusoglu added.
Cavusoglu also said relevant ministers of Turkiye and Palestine will meet on June 29-30 to discuss the bilateral economic ties.
'Distinguished, authentic, strong ties'
For his part, Riyad al-Maliki said the two top diplomats discussed Israeli violations in Palestinian territories and other concerns.
He hailed the "distinguished, authentic, and strong ties" with Turkiye.
"Turkish stances are consistent with aspirations of Palestinian people and their cause," Al-Maliki said, praising Ankara's role in supporting the Palestinian people and their cause.
Al-Maliki went on to say that he explained to the Turkish minister the situation in Palestine and "the daily war crimes Israel commits against the Palestinian people."
"We have seen great interest from the Turkish side, and there is consensus on all issues that have been raised," he said, noting that this consensus "reflects the political development between the two countries at the highest levels."
Meanwhile, the Turkish and Palestinian officials signed nine agreements and memoranda of understanding at the conclusion of the second meeting of the Palestinian-Turkish Joint Ministerial Committee in Ramallah.
Cavusoglu and al-Maliki signed six agreements, followed by three agreements signed by officials from both sides.
The agreements included a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the areas of protocol, environment, water, judiciary, police qualification, mutual recognition of driver's licenses, and the exchange of archival documents of endowments during the Ottoman era.
The agreements included a memorandum of understanding between the Turkish Maarif Foundation and the Palestinian government.
Another one was signed between the Palestinian Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Ministry and the Turkish Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization.
The plane carrying Cavusoglu landed at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on early Tuesday where he was welcomed by Israeli officials.
Later, Cavusoglu made his next stop at the West Bank city of Ramallah and visited the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
Ahead of the bilateral meeting with al-Maliki, he chaired the second meeting of the Joint Committee of the Palestinian and Turkish Foreign Ministries which was established in 2010.
Cavusoglu is also expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Following his meetings in Palestine, the Turkish foreign minister will pay an official visit to Israel on Wednesday and hold talks with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid on bilateral relations and regional and international matters.
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