Erdoğan says Türkiye ‘ready to take any step’ for peace in Gaza

Erdoğan says Türkiye ‘ready to take any step’ for peace in Gaza

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has used the global platform of the COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates to urge for peace in between Israel and Palestine, expressing Türkiye's readiness to this end, TurkicWorld reports citing Hurriyet Daily News.

The U.N. climate talks in Dubai were joined by more than 170 world leaders, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and presidents Emmanuel Macron of France, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt.

During his address, Erdoğan labeled Israel's actions in Gaza as "war crimes and crimes against humanity," calling for accountability under international law.

"Recent events have once again brought to light the critical nature of establishing an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital," said Erdoğan.

"As Türkiye, we are prepared to take on any and all responsibilities that come our way during this process."

In addition to addressing geopolitical concerns, Erdoğan outlined Türkiye's efforts in combating climate change.

"Utilizing our own resources, we are undertaking significant measures despite the fact that our historical contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is less than one percent," he stated.

Türkiye aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2053 and plans to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 69 percent by the same year, Erdoğan added.

Upon his arrival at the summit venue on Dec. 1, Erdoğan was welcomed by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and U.N. chief Antonio Guterres.

The summit aims to facilitate discussions on a range of topics, including environmental problems, energy, food security, health and policies to combat climate change. Erdoğan's office emphasized the importance of exchanging views with other global leaders to find comprehensive solutions to these challenges.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Turkish president engaged in bilateral meetings with Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Humza Yousaf, the first minister of Scotland, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Notably absent from the summit were U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Iranian delegates also walked out of the climate talks in protest over the presence of Israeli representatives, state media reported.

Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian presidents refused to pose for a family photo with world leaders at the summit over the presence of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The opening ceremony featured a strong call to action from Guterres, who warned that "Earth's vital signs are failing" and urged leaders to prevent a "planetary crash and burn." Guterres emphasized the interconnectedness of climate chaos, inequality and conflicts.

Meanwhile, the climate crisis will share the agenda with the conflict in Gaza.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog met his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed, on Nov. 30 and were set to be among the speakers addressing the conference.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had also been scheduled to speak but his office told AFP that he was no longer going, and his foreign minister would be in Dubai instead.

COP28 is officially the largest-ever U.N. climate summit, with 80,000 participants registered.

Until this year, those taking part were not obliged to say who they worked for, making it tricky to detect lobbyists and identify negotiators' potential conflicts of interest.

Some 104,000 people, including technical and security staff, have access this year to the "blue zone" dedicated to the actual climate negotiations and the pavilions of the states and organizations present.

That largely exceeds the previous record at last year's climate summit in Egypt, COP27, which had 49,000 accredited attendees, and where oil and gas lobbyists outnumbered most national delegations, according to NGOs.

This year, there are nearly 23,500 people from official government teams.

Travelling with them are 27,208 policy experts, academics, representatives of professional organizations and senior company executives from oil giants.

These guests do not have the same degree of access to the negotiations as the official delegates, but their presence has raised concerns about the ability of big business to influence the talks.