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Gaza conflict lies at heart of Israeli-Iranian escalation, Turkish foreign minister tells US counterpart

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan conversed with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the phone, emphasizing that the Gaza conflict is central to the Israel-Iran issue. Diplomatic sources underscored Fidan's reminder and highlighted his call for a ceasefire to avert further escalation of the crisis.

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 14,2024

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Sunday spoke over the phone with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, reminding that the Gaza conflict lies at the heart of the Israel-Iran issue, and emphasizing the necessity for a cease-fire to prevent the crisis from escalating further, diplomatic sources said.

Fidan and Blinken discussed the current situation in the region following Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel.

Fidan stressed Türkiye's concern to Blinken regarding the escalation and potential spread of the crisis in the region, highlighting that Türkiye has "repeatedly expressed" the risk of the Gaza crisis evolving into a regional conflict since its inception.

Saying that the conflict in the Palestinian enclave is at the core of Israel-Iran tensions, Fidan reminded Blinken of the urgent need for an immediate cease-fire and uninterrupted humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza.

He cautioned that failure to do so would result in the crisis escalating further.

Fidan said countries that have influence over Israel should give the right messages to avoid escalation.

Iran launched a barrage of drones and missiles at Israel late on Saturday, in response to an April 1 attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus that killed several Iranian commanders.

The IRGC is said to have fired more than 300 drones and missiles in an attack that lasted several hours, many of which were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems.