Erdogan: Turkey will continue to support Palestinans

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Turkey's reconciliation efforts with Israel will in no way diminish Ankara's support for the cause of the Palestinians, Turkey's president said Tuesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the comments during a visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian leader arrived in Ankara just one week after Turkey and Israel announced their decision to restore full diplomatic relations and re-appoint ambassadors for the first time since 2018.

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“The steps taken in our relations with Israel will in no way reduce our support for the Palestinian cause,” Erdogan said. “On the contrary, our Palestinian brothers also express that these steps will contribute to a solution to the Palestinian issue and improve the situation of the Palestinian people.”

Last week, Israel and Turkey announced they were restoring full diplomatic relations in the latest step in months of reconciliation between the two countries.

Turkey and Israel were once close regional allies, but the relationship disintegrated under Erdogan, who has been an outspoken critic of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians.

Israel, in turn, has objected to Turkey's embrace of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

The two countries withdrew their respective ambassadors in 2010, after Israeli forces stormed a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians that broke an Israeli blockade. The incident resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish activists.

Following an attempt at mending ties, Turkey recalled its ambassador again in 2018 after the US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

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