Erdogan says Netanyahu 'no longer someone we can talk to'

AFP , Saturday 4 Nov 2023

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he was breaking off contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to Israel's actions in Gaza.

Turkey's Erdogan said Netanyahu bore the primary responsibility for the violence in Gaza. AFP


"Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have written him off," Turkish media quoted Erdogan as saying.

Erdogan's remarks came a week after Israel said it was "re-evaluating" its relations with Ankara because of Turkey's increasingly heated rhetoric about Israel's war crimes in Gaza.

Israel had earlier withdrawn all diplomats from Turkey and other regional countries as a security precaution.

Israeli forces have encircled Gaza's largest city, as more than 9,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in relentless Israeli strikes and an intensifying ground invasion.

Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey was not breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel.

"Completely severing ties is not possible, especially in international diplomacy," Erdogan said.

He said MIT intelligence agency chief Ibrahim Kalin was spearheading Turkey's efforts to try and mediate an end to the Israeli war.

"Ibrahim Kalin talking to the Israeli side. Of course, he is also negotiating with Palestine and Hamas," Erdogan said.

But he said Netanyahu bore the primary responsibility for the violence and had "lost the support of his own citizens".

"What he needs to do is take a step back and stop this," Erdogan said.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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