Ramallah, 10 Jumadil Akhir 1434/ 19 April 2013 (MINA) – President Mahmoud Abbas is to visit Turkey at the weekend for talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.

     According to report Ma’an News Agency as quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Thursday (18/4), Abbas will also meet Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during the Saturday-Sunday trip, the official said on condition of anonymity.

      Erdogan on Sunday announced his intention to visit Gaza next month, after a trip to the United States.

     Fatah has supported Erdogan’s planned Gaza trip as fostering intra-Palestinian divisions.

     Erdogan, a staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause, had previously said he would visit Gaza in April “to help the process” of lifting an Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave.

     That announcement came a day after a breakthrough apology on March 22 from Israel for the deaths of nine people during a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which had wrecked ties between the former allies.

      Aides pointed to scheduling for the scrapping of the April visit, but Israeli and Turkish media speculated that US Secretary of State John Kerry had warned Ankara over the trip’s “potentially adverse effects” on the new thaw in bilateral ties facilitated by Washington.

      Erdogan plans to visit Washington on May 16.

      In Gaza City, Hamas deputy prime minister Ziyad al-Zaza told reporters that he hoped Erdogan’s visit would present “new possibilities for ending the (Israeli) siege” which he said was costing the economy $250 million per month. (T/P06/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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