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Turkey's PM Erdogan in Israel to Boost Mideast Role

  • VOA News

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have agreed to strengthen ties and establish a telephone hotline between their offices. The two met Sunday in Jerusalem for talks on bilateral relations, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and other regional issues. Mr. Sharon suggested Turkey could help Palestinians build a power plant and housing after Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip. Israel and Turkey have strong military and trade ties. But relations were strained last year when Mr. Erdogan likened Israel's crackdown in the Palestinian territories to state terrorism. During his visit, Mr. Erdogan also placed a wreath at Israel's Holocaust memorial. He meets Monday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
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