Israeli official: Erdogan visit to Gaza ‘would harm Turkey’s relations with the US’
ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he may visit the Gaza Strip next week in conjunction with his scheduled visit to Cairo after talks with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
Erdogan said in response to questions by reporters on Sunday that he could visit the besieged Gaza Strip after first visiting Egypt. But he said the visit to Gaza has not yet been determined on his official agenda.
Erdogan was scheduled to visit Gaza 21 June, but the visit was postponed indefinitely.
Officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said they were making contacts with their counterparts in Egypt with regard to Erdogan’s potential visit to Gaza.
They said that Egyptian Foreign Ministry was excited about the visit but that it would require Israel’s consent.
Meanwhile, an Israeli official has warned Erdogan against the visit, saying it would be a major diplomatic mistake.
The official said on Israel’s Channel Two that the visit would harm Turkey’s relations with the United States and challenge the legitimacy of the governance of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Government officials in Gaza have welcomed the possibility, saying that the Gaza Strip would benefit from such a high-profile visit. But they said that no arrangements have been made so far apart from what was leaked by the media outlets.