ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday an international peace conference should be convened to find a permanent solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Erdogan was speaking at a joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where leaders gathered to urge Israel to end hostilities in Gaza.
“Israel is taking revenge (…) on the babies, children and women of Gaza,” Erdogan said, reiterating his call for an immediate ceasefire. “What is urgent in Gaza is not pauses of a few hours, but rather a permanent ceasefire.”
On the sidelines of the summit, Erdogan held bilateral talks with leaders including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Erdogan told his counterparts that Turkey was ready to collaborate in providing humanitarian aid and health services to Gaza, the Turkish presidency said.
Turkey, which sharply intensified its criticism of Israel as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza intensified, supports a two-state solution and hosts members of Hamas, which it does not consider an organization terrorist, unlike the United States, Great Britain and other countries. the west.
“We cannot put the Hamas resistance fighters who defend their homeland in the same category as the occupiers,” Erdogan said.
A permanent solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians depends on the formation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Erdogan said.
“We believe that an international peace conference will constitute the most appropriate basis for this. We are ready to deploy the necessary efforts, including as a guarantor, to preserve the peace to be established in this context,” he said. he declares.
Remarks by Israeli Heritage Minister Amihay Eliyahu on the idea of an Israeli nuclear strike on Gaza revealed the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons, Erdogan said, calling for an international investigation.
“If there are nuclear bombs that were hidden during the examination of the International Atomic Energy Agency, they should also be revealed,” Erdogan said.
Israel does not publicly acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons, although the Federation of American Scientists estimates that Israel has approximately 90 nuclear warheads.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended Eliyahu from cabinet meetings “until further notice” after his comments.
(Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Christina Fincher)