Turkish, Palestinian presidents discuss Mideast peace process

Istanbul, April 22 (IANS) Visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul Monday over the latest developments in the Middle East.

The two leaders discussed issues such as bilateral relations, the Middle East peace process and efforts to reach Palestinian reconciliation, according to a statement issued by the Turkish presidency, reported Xinhua.

The statement cited Gul as saying that Turkey’s appointment of an ambassador to Palestine constituted the first concrete gain of the Palestinians’ successful bid to upgrade their UN status to that of a non-member observer state in November 2012.

Gul also expressed hopes that Turkey’s move would set an example for other countries.

Abbas, for his part, expressed his gratitude for Turkey’s long- term support and contribution to the Palestinian cause.

On Sunday, the Palestinian president held talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Istanbul.

Kerry said he had asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to postpone a visit to the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave held by Hamas, a rival faction to Abbas’ Fatah party.

Erdogan said last week he was planning to visit Gaza at the end of May after a trip to Washington on May 16.

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