19 November 2012
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is expected to pay a snap visit to Gaza on Nov. 20, diplomatic sources have said, noting that the visit will take place as part of the Arab Leagues initiative to show support with the territorys people following ongoing Israeli air strikes.
The Arab League decided Sunday during a meeting in Cairo to send a delegation that includes Davutoğlu to Gaza to express support and solidarity. The Arab Leagues decision came hours after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan openly criticized the league for not taking effective steps in the face of the Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
In the meantime, Davutoğlu accelerated an ongoing diplomatic campaign to halt the Israeli operation through hectic face-to-face and phone conversations with relevant parties. Erdoğan and Davutoğlu met Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal in Cairo, and the foreign minister later talked to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to sources, Davutoğlu said a truce could be reached if the United States guaranteed that Israel would abide by a cease-fire.
This visit to Gaza will also mark a first for Davutoğlu, since he became the top diplomat in 2009.