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Erdogan says will go ahead with Gaza visit

Reuters

May 16, 2013 | 11:24 am

President Barack Obama, right, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the White House Rose Garden on May 16. Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

President Barack Obama, right, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the White House Rose Garden on May 16. Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the White House on Thursday that he intends to go ahead with a planned trip to the Gaza Strip next month despite pressure from the United States to delay it.

"I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East," Erdogan said at a rainy Rose Garden news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama, adding that he also plans to visit the West Bank on that trip.

In April, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Erdogan to delay visiting the Palestinian enclave to avoid endangering U.S. efforts to revive Turkey's ties with Israel and to advance Middle East peace talks.

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