Türkiye, UK FMs discuss Gaza, global issues in Istanbul

Türkiye, UK FMs discuss Gaza, global issues in Istanbul

Baku, TurkicWorld:

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met his British counterpart David Cameron in Istanbul for talks on Gaza, a Turkish statement said Friday, TurkicWorld reports citing Daily Sabah..

The pair discussed all aspects of bilateral relations, as well as current regional and international issues, the statement said.

No further information was shared about the meeting and a news conference was not on the agenda.

Istanbul is Cameron’s fourth stop on a regional tour of Israel, occupied Palestinian territories and Qatar to hold talks with leaders on an urgent humanitarian pause and secure a deal to release the Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

He held crucial talks on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in west Jerusalem.

According to a U.K. government statement, Cameron "explained that he wants to see an immediate humanitarian pause to get hostages out and aid in, leading to a sustainable cease-fire without a return to hostilities."

Cameron met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas late Wednesday to discuss the developments in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 Hamas attack, killing at least 25,700 Palestinians and injuring 63,740 others. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while more than half of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the U.N.

Since earlier this month, tensions have surged in the Middle East after the U.S. and the U.K. stepped up joint airstrikes on Yemen in response to the Houthis' ongoing attacks on international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Türkiye too has naval troops in the Gulf of Aden, Somali territorial waters and the Arabian Sea adjacent to the Gulf where it assists international efforts by the U.N., NATO, EU and International Maritime Organization (IMO) against maritime piracy.

Ankara has since condemned the U.S. and British airstrikes on Houthi rebels, calling it “disproportionate” and accusing Washington and London of trying to turn the Red Sea into a “bloodbath.”

Türkiye has been a staunch defender of the Palestinian cause and continues diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, including an offer of a guarantorship model and vocally backing South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Although the two sides took mutual steps for a thaw right before Oct. 7, Ankara’s stand with Palestine led to a deterioration of ties with Israel.

Relations with Western allies who hold a definite pro-Israel stance, too, went into a downward spiral again, especially after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared Israel “a terrorist state” for its indiscriminate bombing and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the “Butcher of Gaza.”

He has also described Hamas as a “liberation organization” much to the chagrin of the United States and the European Union, who classify it as a terrorist organization.