US opposes Erdogan intention to visit Gaza
The United States on Friday expressed its opposition to a possible visit to Gaza Strip by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling it a move that could undermine peace and security in the region. The spokesman for the U.S. State Department Victoria Nuland said that Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, remained a "destabilizing force" in the region.
"This visit will not be favorable to advance the cause of peace and security in the region. We urge all parties to play a constructive role to bring all parties to the negotiation table," she said at a press conference .
Erdogan said Friday, according to media reports, he intends to visit the Gaza Strip and would like to set a date for his visit with the leaders of Hamas. He also welcomed the recent visit to the Gaza Strip by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
It was the first visit initiated by the leader of Qatar since 2007, while the United States said that his visit was unnecessary.
Ms. Nuland said Washington had conversations with Turkey to "try to understand its intention" regarding this visit.