Turkey ready to recognize Palestine as sovereign state

Turkey ready to recognize Palestine as sovereign state

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey will vote for a UN resolution to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said in remarks published on Thursday, June 16. “We hope that an independent Palestine [is] established based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital,” Gul was quoted as saying by Japanese newspaper Nikkei. “We are among the strongest supporters of Palestine,” he also said.

Palestinian leaders have been campaigning to win UN recognition of a state that spans the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in 1967. “We call on all friendly, peace-loving nations to join us in realizing our national aspirations by recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and by supporting its admission to the United Nations,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an opinion published in May in The New York Times, referring to boundaries that embrace the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel and the United States have objected to the idea of UN recognition. The US has urged the Palestinians and Israel not to take unilateral steps that could jeopardize a final peace settlement. Gul said there is “no doubt” that Turkey would vote for the resolution.

In a speech at the UN Security Council in April, Turkey's ambassador to the UN declared Turkish support for the Palestinian quest for UN recognition as an independent state, saying it is time for the international community to be in solidarity with Palestinians to help them “live in peace and with dignity.”

“Through their state building efforts, the Palestinian Authority has proven to all the sceptics that they deserve to attain their decades-long target of internationally recognized statehood, even though they continue to suffer under occupation,” Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, said at a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East.

If Palestinians prove objectively ready to move from their current observer status at the UN into full statehood, the international community “must not turn a blind eye to their just and legitimate appeal,” he said, and added, “The time has come to show solidarity with the Palestinians and help them to live in peace and dignity,” Today's Zaman quoted him as saying.

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