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Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday praised the role of Turkey in supporting Lebanon and the Palestinian cause.

“Turkey had earned the appreciation of the whole world with its stance on the Palestinian issue”, he said

During a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Ali Şahin, Berri lauded the welcoming he received from the Turkish leadership.

Berri voiced his rejection “to what Israel is doing to the holy sites and Palestinian people and lands,” noting that “rebuilding the Hourva synagogue on the ruins of a mosque and near al-Aqsa Mosque reflects the Israeli expansion policy and Judaization attempts.”

“Israel doesn’t want peace and not Arabs; and I don’t believe that the U.S. can’t influence its ally,” Berri added.

Berri informed his Turkish counterpart that “the agreements signed between the Lebanese and Turkish governments will be on the agenda of the next parliamentary session for approval after the foreign affairs committee endorsed them last week.”

On the other hand Turkish Parliament Speaker Şahin said he planned to call on the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, or OIC, to convene a special session to discuss recent developments in east Jerusalem.

Şahin also told reporters that Turkey wants to host a special gathering of parliament speakers from OIC members to discuss Israel’s controversial move to permit the construction of new Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem.

OIC’s secretary general had already begun working on organizing such a gathering, Şahin said, adding that recent developments in the region would be discussed during the meeting.

Turkey had been affected by the developments in the Middle East, with which the country has historic and cultural ties, Şahin said, adding that the country felt a natural responsibility to contribute to the establishment of stability and peace in the region.

Situation made more difficult

Şahin said Turkey favored a peaceful resolution to the Middle East problem, noting that Israel’s decision to allow new Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem made a diplomatic solution of issues in the Middle East much more difficult.

He said talks between Israel and Palestine, as well as Syria and Lebanon, should be revived in order to arrive at a comprehensive peace in the region, adding that Turkey is ready to play its part to ensure such success.

Turkey has always supported and will continue to support efforts to protect the stability and welfare of Lebanon, which has suffered from frequent political tension, he said.

Berri also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül during his visit to Ankara. hurriyetdailynews

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