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Russia-Ukraine war, Israel’s attack on Gaza could escalate into regional, global wars: Turkish foreign minister

Both the Russia-Ukraine war and Israel’s months-long offensive on Gaza could escalate into regional or even global wars, warned the Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday.

“These conflicts could turn into regional and global wars. To prevent this, everyone needs to pitch in and help,” Hakan Fidan told a joint news conference with his Czech counterpart Jan Lipavsky in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Stating that he and Lipavsky had discussed Gaza, Fidan said that Israel continues to carry out “literal ethnic cleansing” in Gaza, and commits new war crimes every day.

“We have not been silent, nor will we remain silent, about Israel’s ongoing pursuit of expanding its territories and attempting to steal the lands of our Palestinian brothers,” he added.

Underlining that Türkiye supports any initiatives aiming for a cease-fire in Gaza, Fidan reiterated Ankara’s support for a two-state solution.

Stating that most countries agree on a two-state solution, Fidan said the rising number of states recognizing the Palestinian state is “an indication of this.”

“We will continue our tireless efforts in the coming days to further increase this number,” he further said.

Reiterating Türkiye’s support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, Fidan said of the war, now well into its third year: “We cannot ignore the loss of life and horrific devastation caused by the war. Over 500,000 people have lost their lives in this conflict.”

“This war also carries the risk of spreading beyond Ukraine’s borders and even leading to the use of weapons of mass destruction,” he added.

He voiced Ankara’s desire to see the parties to the conflict “sitting down at the negotiating table for peace.”

“We emphasize the importance of both Ukraine and Russia showing a commitment to ending bloodshed with their visions of peace,” he said.

“We see this as an important initial step regardless of its content and conditions,” he added.

He urged the global community to take more inclusive steps, expressing Ankara’s readiness to play a “facilitative and constructive role” in any future negotiations.

– Ties between Ankara, Prague

Stating that as NATO allies, Türkiye and the Czech Republic value defense industry cooperation, Fidan said they aim to further develop “our defense industry collaboration towards third-country markets with concrete projects.”

“As of last year, we aimed to increase the trade volume between Türkiye and the Czech Republic to $5 billion. Today, we are happy to have achieved this target. With the (new) goal we’ve set, we will strive to increase it to $10 billion,” he added.

Fidan said ties between the two nations are growing stronger every day.

He described the Czech-Turkish Park in Prague, which opened in June, as “a symbol of our friendship” marking the 100th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Expressing satisfaction on developments in the tourism industry, Fidan said: “Last year, we welcomed more than 380,000 Czech tourists to our country. We are pleased that Türkiye is one of the favorite destinations for Czech tourists.”

Thanking Prague for supporting Türkiye’s EU accession process, he added: “We believe that Czech contributions and support will continue to be crucial in advancing our relations with the EU and overcoming obstacles on the path to membership in the coming days.”