Gaza war is widening into something broader: Turkish FM Fidan


During a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart, the Turkish top diplomat urged the international community not to overlook the indications of potential escalation in the Red Sea, Syria, and Iraq.

Current events in the Middle East point to the three-month-old Gaza war widening into something broader, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has said.

“It should not be misleading to see that what happened in the Red Sea, Syria, and Iraq foreshadows that the spiral of war in Gaza will gradually turn into a bigger maelstrom,” Fidan told a joint press conference on Tuesday with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic-Radman in the capital Ankara.

Türkiye has said on relevant platforms that there can be no lasting peace in the region without equal security and sovereignty for the Palestinians, Fidan added.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on Gaza since a cross-border attack by Hamas which Tel Aviv says killed 1,200 people.

At least 24,285 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and 61,154 injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

According to the UN, 85 percent of the population of Gaza is already internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave’s infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.

After meeting with his Croatian counterpart, Turkish top diplomat Fidan underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Balkans for the benefit of both Türkiye and Croatia, especially emphasising support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s peace, stability, and territorial integrity.

Referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Zagreb two years ago, Fidan emphasised that the visit boosted relations, and during Grlic-Radman’s current visit, progress in ties and potential areas of cooperation were discussed.

He highlighted the mutual commitment to strengthen relations in all areas further and mentioned agreements currently under negotiation, expressing the hope that they would be ready for signing soon.

Regarding economic and trade relations, Fidan stated that the target of $2 billion in trade volume is aimed for, and he emphasised the need to use institutional mechanisms effectively, including the Joint Economic Commission, to achieve this goal.

Expressing satisfaction with the increased interest of Turkish companies in Croatia, particularly in sectors such as tourism, construction, transportation, banking, and renewable energy, he noted that Croatian investments in Türkiye were also welcomed.

Fidan highlighted the significance of the Trilateral Consultation Mechanism established in 2010 between Türkiye, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, expressing their eagerness to hold the next meeting soon.

During the joint press conference, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlic-Radman mentioned that they discussed Türkiye-EU relations with Minister Fidan and emphasised that Türkiye is in the position of a candidate country for the EU.

“For us, Türkiye is a candidate country for the EU and will remain the key partner of the EU,” he stated, stressing their commitment to fostering a constructive dialogue between the EU and Türkiye.

Expressing satisfaction with President Erdogan’s last visit to Croatia, Radman highlighted the positive impact of the visit, which resulted in the signing of three agreements and the establishment of diplomatic relations spanning over 32 years with more than 50 mutual agreements.

He expressed gratitude for the investment of Turkish businesspeople in Croatia and acknowledged that they are well-received in the country. He also thanked Türkiye for its support through the Economic Cooperation and Development Organization (ECDO) Council.

Emphasising the NATO alliance and the role of both countries in Europe, Radman stressed the importance of further developing and utilising the Trilateral Consultation Mechanism.

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