Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands main cause of instability in Middle East, says Turkish FM

In joint news conference with Egyptian counterpart, Fidan says, 'If this crisis is not resolved properly ... such crises will continue to escalate in our region'

09:34 - 21/04/2024 Sunday
Update: 11:00 - 21/04/2024 Sunday
Turkish Foreign Mnister Hakan Fidan (R) and Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (L)
Turkish Foreign Mnister Hakan Fidan (R) and Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (L)

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Saturday said Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories is one of the primary causes of instability in the Middle East.“The occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and the unconditional support of the West for this are one of the main reasons for the instability problem in the Middle East,” Fidan said during a joint news conference in Istanbul with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Unless this is addressed, tensions in the region will continue to escalate, Fidan said, noting: "If this crisis is not resolved properly, if Palestinians are not given the state, independence, and sovereignty they deserve, such crises will continue to escalate in our region."

"Other countries shouldn't fall into the luxury of thinking that ‘these things will only happen in the Middle East, they won't affect us.' They shouldn't dismiss anything like that,” he added.

Fidan noted that the resistance in Palestine gradually evolved from being a war between Israel and Palestine into a form of fight between “the oppressors and the oppressed worldwide.”

He mentioned that regional issues were also discussed during the meeting, stressing Gaza as a priority.

"We have a very regular coordination and consultation mechanism on the Gaza issue both through the contact group formed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League and through our bilateral dialogue. We have been working together and coordinating regularly since the beginning of the crisis,” he said.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation in Gaza, Fidan said: "We emphasized the severity of the situation and what needs to be done. We discussed in detail what diplomatic steps can be taken, what humanitarian assistance can be provided, and what methods can be applied for a long-term two-state solution."

Fidan underlined the vital importance of relations with Cairo, considering it one of the geographically closest countries to the "heat of the problem."

"Our relations with Egypt, especially in terms of humanitarian assistance, are of vital importance. We are working day and night in coordination with Egypt to deliver aid through the Rafah Border Crossing. They play a crucial role in bringing our humanitarian aid, especially to Rafah. We also thank Egypt for this,” he added.

Fidan stressed that during Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Cairo in February, the determination in this regard was expressed at the leadership level.

He also underlined the signing of a joint statement regarding the re-establishment of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Cairo.

Fidan said the Palestine issue may trigger global issues, adding: “Cooperation between Egypt and Türkiye is extremely beneficial for our peoples and region.”

- Palestine issue affecting whole world

Stating that the Palestinian issue affects every part of the world, Fidan said: “We saw this in the crisis involving trade ships in the Red Sea. We saw how the logistics chain was disrupted. We saw how orders were delayed and prices increased. These are just the beginning. If we want to prevent the spread of such crises, we need to roll up our sleeves and take the necessary steps to solve this problem genuinely."

He added that as the current conditions continue, “our chances of being hopeful diminish."

Fidan also urged the world to raise their voice against this injustice in an organized manner, saying that "otherwise this injustice will continue."

"We see that many states and non-state actors, feeling oppressed, excluded, and subjected to the hypocrisy, injustice, and lawlessness of the international system, are becoming increasingly conscious and starting to assert their rights by entering into different organizations, from Latin America to Africa, from Asia-Pacific to the Middle East, and even in European capitals,” he added.

- "Türkiye focusing on resolving Palestinian issue, instability problem in Middle East"

Fidan said President Erdogan's policies since coming to power in the early 2000s have been focused on resolving the Palestinian issue and the instability problem in the Middle East in the way it deserves.

"Our governments, our state have never stopped striving for efforts and work on this issue for a single second. We have always been in search of how we can contribute to the Palestinian issue in a rational manner, devoid of sentimentality, to truly make a difference,” he said.

Fidan noted that they have discussed with regional partners, including Egypt, how they can work on this issue, and he pointed out that due to sensitivities about not sharing the work done by other countries, the effort seen by the public is much greater than what is actually seen.

Stating that they are working to end the occupation, establish a cease-fire, and start humanitarian aid using all available means, Fidan underlined the importance of the amount of aid that can be sent into Gaza rather than just the amount of aid that has been sent to Gaza.

On what can be done to prevent a possible attack on Rafah by Israel and how international pressure can be created, Fidan expressed that they are seeking solutions and genuine measures with relevant counterparts and partners.

"If existing diplomatic efforts and humanitarian aid activities do not lead to a solution, what additional actions should be taken, what genuine measures should be put forward, we are discussing this with our relevant counterparts and partners,” he added.

- Real major crisis awaiting world is ‘hypocrisy of the international system'

Fidan also drew attention to their efforts on international platforms and with all other countries in the world regarding what they can do for Gaza.

“However, what we see here is this: all this mobilization, all these international actors saying 'this is also wrong' in the face of this issue and not stopping this wrong is a bigger problem in itself," he added.

Fidan further said the major crisis awaiting the world is the “hypocrisy of the international system, which has been unmasked with the shedding of makeup on the Palestinian issue, the lawlessness of the international system, and the uselessness of the hegemonic system established after World War II."

He highlighted that the "oppression and massacre" in Gaza cause the reality to become clearer and more evident with each passing day.

"This issue is no longer perceived as a matter where Israelis are killing Palestinians, but it is turning into a struggle between two sides who feel Palestine in their hearts and minds, who feel the oppression, and who feel the need for global resistance against this injustice,” he added.

Flouting an International Court of Justice provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip where over 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and nearly 77,000 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe.

#Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
#Hakan Fidan
1 month ago