| Welcome to Global Village Space

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Erdogan says US has ‘historic responsibility’ to ensure Gaza ceasefire

The Turkish leader spoke on the telephone with US President Joe Biden in their first talks since October 7, when an unprecedented attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas sparked the war.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said the United States has a “historic responsibility” to ensure a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, warning of the “negative regional and global consequences” of the conflict.

The Turkish leader spoke on the telephone with US President Joe Biden in their first talks since October 7, when an unprecedented attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas sparked the war.

Read more: Netanyahu must be charged by ICC – Erdogan

Hamas gunmen stormed across the border from Gaza into Israel and killed around 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took about 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.

Aiming to eliminate Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory military offensive in Gaza that has killed more than 18,700 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

“President Erdogan stated that the intensification and prolongation of Israeli attacks could have negative regional and global consequences,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement after the call.

“Withdrawal of the United States’ unconditional support for Israel can guarantee a rapid ceasefire,” it added.

Read more: Israel must face international court – Erdogan

Erdogan has been one of the Muslim world’s most vocal critics of Israel’s military tactics in Gaza.

He has referred to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu as “the butcher of Gaza” and branded Israel a “terror state”.

During the telephone call, Erdogan said that “the United States has a historic responsibility to ensure a permanent ceasefire in the region as soon as possible”.

The White House said in a statement that “Biden reiterated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”

But it added that “the leaders also discussed efforts to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza and protect civilians and the need for a political horizon for the Palestinian people.”

Biden has strongly backed Israel but on Tuesday he issued his strongest criticism yet, warning that Israel risked losing global support over “indiscriminate bombing”.

The White House said earlier Thursday it wanted the war to end “as soon as possible”, after Israel’s defence minister told a top US official it would last several months more.

Biden also discussed Turkey’s delay in approving NATO membership for Sweden, the White House statement said.