Çavuşoğlu: Israel should end violence against oppressed Palestinians to mend ties with Turkey

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ANKARA – If Israel wants healthy ties with Ankara, it must abandon its wrongful policies and end violence against Palestinians, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

“In order for Israel to maintain a healthy relationship with us, no matter which government is in power there, it must first give up its wrongful policies,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at a press conference along with Robert Dussey, the foreign minister of Togo, in the capital Ankara.

Israel’s violence and aggression against Palestinians will only “worsen [our] ties,” he added.

Çavuşoğlu stressed that Israel can have “healthier relationships with everyone” if it pursues peace, accepts a two-state solution, and respects the rights of Palestinians.

Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank last month killed at least 289 people, including women and children, and left a trail of destruction.

Health centers, schools, and media offices in the Palestinian territories were among the structures that Israeli forces targeted and destroyed with impunity.

MAARIF FOUNDATION TAKES OVER SCHOOLS IN TOGO

Togo’s foreign minister said many schools previously run by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the west African country have been handed over to Turkey’s Maarif Foundation.

He appreciated the foundation’s role in providing quality education to children in Togo.

Ankara established the Maarif Foundation after the defeated 2016 coup in Turkey to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO.

The terror group and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Voicing support for Turkey’s efforts, Dussey congratulated Ankara on its progress and achievements in the fight against terrorism.

“Maybe we, as Togo, cannot relate to these issues [of terrorism] … but these violent and extremist ideologies are affecting several continues, and if we don’t stop them, they may eventually reach our country too,” he said.

Togo, he vowed, will continue to stand with Turkey against terrorism, adding that “a joint front against terrorism” could help ensure peace and stability in the region.