Alexa

Turkey suspends mediation between Israel and Syria

Turkey suspends mediation between Israel and Syria

Turkey said Monday it was suspending its role as mediator for peace talks between Israel and Syria after Israeli attacks on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Syria announced Sunday it was suspending the peace talks launched in May because of the attacks on Gaza that killed more than 300 people.
"Under these circumstances, naturally it is not possible to press ahead with the talks," Babacan said at a joint news conference with visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
"Israel's policy to turn to war with Palestinians while negotiating for peace with Syria, has greatly disappointed us."
Syria is home to the exiled leadership of the militant Hamas group that has been controlling Gaza since June last year.
Syria and Israel are bitter foes. They held direct talks in the late 1990s and early 2000 but negotiations broke down over the extent of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, a strategic territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
Syria insists on the complete return of the Golan Heights, while Israel wants to keep a strip of land around the Sea of Galilee.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the weekend described the Israeli attacks as a "crime against humanity."
Turkey was angered that the attacks came shortly after a visit to Ankara last week by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to discuss Middle East peace. No Syria-Israel talks have been held since Olmert announced in July that he would step down.
Babacan and Aboul Gheit called on Hamas and Israel to renew a cease-fire that ended more than a week ago.
Protesters were gathering for demonstrations outside Israel's diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul on Monday for a third day in row.
Both Turkey and Egypt have tried to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians and expressed concern that the clashes could spread. The countries urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians and Aboul Gheit said border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip should be opened.
___
Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-02-28 00:48 GMT+08:00