Turkey calls Israel to halt illegal settlements in East Jerusalem

Turkey on Friday called on Israel to abandon its policy of building illegal settlements in Eastern Jerusalem.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s remarks came at a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Ankara is ready to offer any support needed for elections to be held in Palestine in line with international standards, said Cavusoglu.

On Turkey’s improving ties with Egypt, he said Thursday’s meeting with Cairo between deputy foreign ministers was held in a “positive atmosphere” and that he might later hold a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart.

Maliki, for his part, said Turkey surpasses all others in its support and called on the international community to press Israel to allow for Palestinian elections to be held in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian top diplomat arrived in Turkey on Friday, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, which said the two would discuss ways to improve bilateral ties, along with recent developments in Palestine and Jerusalem.

Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the postponement of elections until Israeli authorities permit holding the polls in Eastern Jerusalem.

The parliamentary polls were expected to be held on May 22 and presidential polls on July 31, while the Palestinian national council elections would have been on Aug. 31.

Source: Anadolu Agency