Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Photo: Reuters)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu cancelled a scheduled trip to France and flew to Qatar on Friday to help efforts for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a Turkish official said.
The decision comes after Davutoglu held a "teleconference with his counterparts from the United States and Qatar yesterday night (Thursday) and also spoke separately with the Palestinian groups," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The minister made an abrupt decision to fly to Qatar to contribute to efforts for an immediate ceasefire."
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday reached out to Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar to push for a ceasefire. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is based in Doha.
Turkey, a staunch critic of the Israeli assaults in Gaza, is pressing for involvement of Hamas in any negotiations for a ceasefire.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who presents himself as a rare global Muslim leader who stands up for Palestinian rights, has accused Israel of carrying out a "genocide" in Gaza.
His rhetoric sparked condemnation from Israel and severe criticism from Turkey's NATO ally the United States.