Turkish foreign minister aims to boost Palestinian economy in rare West Bank trip

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will meet Israeli officials on Wednesday, the latest step in a diplomatic thaw between Ankara and the Jewish state.

Published: 24th May 2022 08:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2022 08:29 PM   |  A+A-

Palestine's flag  used for representation.

Palestine's flag used for representation. (File photo | AP)

By AFP

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories): Turkey's top diplomat announced Tuesday a raft of new agreements to bolster the struggling Palestinian economy, during the first high-level Turkish visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 15 years.

During Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's trip to Ramallah, Turkey signed nine new pacts with the embattled Palestinian Authority, ranging from agriculture to education and trade.

Cavusoglu will meet Israeli officials on Wednesday, the latest step in a diplomatic thaw between Ankara and the Jewish state. He will also make a private visit to the Al-Asqa mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Alongside his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki, Cavusoglu pledged to push ahead with plans for the construction of an industrial zone in the Palestinian territories.

"The necessary order has been given; there is no luxury for evading and delaying this project," he said, also setting a $2 billion annual bilateral trade target and pledging more scholarships with Palestinians to study in Turkey.

The World Bank warned this month that the Palestinian economy was in a "precarious" state, with the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority -- a major West Bank employer -- only paying partial wages since November.

Maliki described Cavusoglu's visit as "historic" and reflecting the "special relationship between the two countries".

Turkey has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, but visits to the West Bank had been obstructed by a 15-year diplomatic rupture between Ankara and Israel.

Israel and Turkey proclaimed a new era in relations following President Isaac Herzog's visit to Ankara and Istanbul in March.

Cavusoglu's Ramallah visit came as fresh violence rocked the West Bank flashpoint of Jenin.

Israel's army said a shootout erupted between troops and Palestinians during the latest in a series of operations in the Jenin area, with a man suspected of "terrorist activity" arrested.

Three Palestinians were wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp