Arafat Seeks Turkey's Support in Peace Process with Israel
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat arrived in Ankara Saturday in a bid to secure Turkey's support for the Palestinian stance in the peace process with Israel, reported AFP.
In his talks with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Arafat was expected to ask for backing for the planned declaration of a Palestinian state on September 13th and the status of Jerusalem, said Reuters, quoting diplomatic sources.
Turkey and Israel have built up a strong alliance since the signing in 1996 of a bilateral military cooperation deal, which drew strong criticism from most of the Arab world and Iran, according to Reuters.
But at the same time, Ankara has developed close relations with the Palestinians, with whom it has full-fledged diplomatic ties, AFP said.
Arafat's visit to Turkey comes within the framework of his international drive to garner support for the Palestinian demands after the failure of the Camp David peace talks last month.
At the end of a tour of Arab nations on Wednesday, Arafat said he had succeeded in winning support for the Palestinian position that east Jerusalem should be the capital of their future state, reported Reuters - (Several Sources)
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