Iran's Raisi In Turkey To Forge Joint Response To Gaza War

Iran's Raisi in Turkey to forge joint response to Gaza war

Ankara, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Nov, 2023) Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi makes his first official visit to Turkey on Tuesday, hoping to paper over past differences and forge a forceful joint response to Israel's actions in Gaza.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged as one of the Muslim world's most vocal critics of Israel's onslaught on Gaza in response to Hamas October 7 attack.

He has branded Israel a "terrorist state" and called Hamas "a liberation group".

Erdogan has also suggested trying Israeli politicians and military commanders in the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

But past meetings between Muslim and Arab leaders -- including talks this month in Riyadh -- have failed to find common ground over what immediate economic and political steps to take.

Analysts believe that Raisi will pressure Turkey to move past the rhetoric and cut its blossoming trade and energy relations with Israel.

"Iran expects Turkey to end its direct and indirect trade with Israel," Istanbul's Centre for Iranian Studies director Hakki Uygur told AFP.

"Turkey, on the other hand, has taken an attitude that cares about separating political and commercial issues."

According to Gaza's Hamas-led government, nearly 15,000 people -- mostly civilians and including thousands of children -- have died since Israel began to retaliate for Hamas's unprecedented cross-border attacks in which Israel says 1,200 people died.

Raisi's visit comes with efforts focused on extending a truce that has seen dozens of Israeli hostages freed in return for the release of more than 100 Palestinian prisoners.

- 'Permanent peace' -

Iran and Turkey share a 535-kilometre (330-mile) border and a complex history of close economic relations and opposing views on regional disputes.