Turkey, Egypt call on Israel immediately to stop Gaza air strikes

Turkey and Egypt has called on Israel immediately to stop bombs and killings in Gaza, killing more than 300 Palestinians.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit made a call for immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

Babacan and Gheit held a joint press conference following a tete-a-tete meeting at the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday.

"We discussed the developments in Gaza and exchanged opinions on the situation in the region," Babacan said. "In our meeting today, we evaluated what Turkey and Egypt, two influential countries in the region, can do," Babacan said.

"A large number of Palestinians lost lives due to Israel's attack on Gaza. More than 300 people have been killed and hundreds of others were injured in Israel's attacks," Babacan said.

"The developments in the region may hurt the regional stability. The peoples of the region are in a mood of anger. The tenseful atmosphere must be softened. We support the decision of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Gaza two days ago. We call on Israel to immediately stop its military operation in Gaza," Babacan said.

On the other hand, Hamas should not be involved in activities that would justify Israeli attacks, Babacan said.

The people of Gaza are in a difficult position, Babacan said.

We can not remain indifferent to the situation in Gaza, Babacan said.

Calm between Israel and Hamas must be re-established and a cease-fire must be immediately implemented, Babacan said.

"Extremely dangerous"

Egyptian Foreign Minister Gheit said that he came to Ankara after a phone conversation between the presidents of Turkey and Egypt.

"The situation in the region is extremely dangerous. We condemn Israel's operations in Gaza," Gheit said.

Egypt, for the past six months, has been trying to establish calm between Israel and Palestine, Gheit said.

Clashes began again as the agreement facilitating calm was not renewed, Gheit said.

"The solution (in Gaza) lies on re-establishing a cease-fire. The two sides must end armed clashes. Calm must be re-established," Gheit said.

"We want the re-establishment of cease-fire and calm, the opening of border gates at Gaza and humanitarian assistance to reach the Palestinian people," Gheit said.

Gheit said that he brought a verbal message to Turkish President Abdullah Gul from the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.



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