RAMALLAH, Tuesday, May 24, 2022 (WAFA) – Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki today received his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Çavuşoğlu in a “historical” visit to Palestine.
Speaking in a press conference following a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Ramallah, al-Malki addressed the situation on the ground in the occupied territories, including Israeli violations in Jerusalem, with focus on Israel's continued policy of de-Palestinization of the city, ongoing colonial settlement construction and incessant settler and police intrusions into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and actions that alter the longstanding status quo at the compound.
He also addressed Israeli violations against Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque and attempts to deface its Islamic identity, forced displacements, home demolitions, including the impending displacement of some 1,300 Palestinians living in twelve villages or hamlets making up the Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, and killings, including the killing of iconic Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Aqleh.
The top Palestinian diplomat called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people and not simply issue statements of condemnation.
He tackled the financial crisis gripping the Palestinian government following Israel’s practice of withholding Palestinian tax revenues under flimsy pretexts and halting US and EU aid to the government.
He expressed his pride in and stressed the need to reinforce bilateral Palestinian-Turkish relations in various fields with Palestine and Turkey signing nine cooperation agreements.
"What we heard has reinforced our position and what we do to achieve freedom and independence," Maliki said after the meeting.
Çavuşoğlu stated that his country “stands with Palestine and Palestinians in their struggle for an independent and sovereign state.”
He stressed his country’s position in support of establishing an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He went on to stress that Israel’s unilateral steps in Palestine, including illegal colonial settlement construction, forced expulsions and demolitions destroy the ground for peace.
He assured his Palestinian counterpart that Turkey’s improved ties with Israel will not come at the expense of its commitment to supporting the Palestinians and a two-state solution to the conflict.
“Our support for the Palestinian cause is completely independent of the course of our relations with Israel.”