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Egypt cancels Turkey PM's Gaza visit

Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:08 AM   |   Comments

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CAIRO, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Egypt canceled Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the Gaza Strip because of his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, officials said.

Erdogan had planned to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, entering from Egypt, some time this month.

Egyptian authorities said they would not permit Erdogan to enter Gaza because of his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsi, diplomatic sources in Cairo told the Egyptian website Youm 7 Sunday.

Erdogan had initially planned to visit Gaza to pressure Israel into lifting its naval blockade.

Dr. Essam Da'ales, adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, told the Egyptian website a decision to postpone the Turkish leader's visit is because of the situation in Egypt.

"The demonstrations and protests seen in Turkey and the Arab region, particularly in Egypt -- cast a shadow on Gaza and prevent Erdogan's visit there," he said.

Erdogan was quoted by Today's Zaman as saying Saturday night his country would not recognize the military-backed Egyptian interim government.

"There is a nation whose rights have been violated in Egypt. Can someone respect this [situation]? It is not possible for me to respect this. Turkey suffered a lot from military coups. We paid the price [of the coups] and we want that our brothers don't have to pay this [price]," he said.

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