‘I Believe Nigeria Will Support Palestine Against Israel’, Turkish President Lobbies Buhari

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he believes Muhammadu Buhari, his Nigerian counterpart, would stand with Palestine in teaching Israel a lesson following the latest attacks by Israel on Jerusalem and Gaza .

 

On Friday, Erdogan had a conversation with Buhari by phone, asking that Nigeria, as a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, stand with Palestine — another member of the organisation.

 

“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. Exchanging Eid al-Fitr greetings, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and regional developments,” the Turkish Presidency tweeted on Friday.

 

“Drawing attention to Turkey’s efforts exerted in order for the international community to teach the necessary lesson to unlawful, unjust and unscrupulous Israel due to its attacks against Palestine, President Erdogan voiced his belief that Nigeria would show solidarity with the Palestinians in this rightful cause.”

 

Erdogan has also put a call through to the presidents or heads of states of Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Northern Cyprus, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Algeria, and Russia.

 

The Turkish Presidency disclosed this in a message posted on its Twitter handle, @trpresidency.

 

The Turkish President told Buhari that his country was trying to get the international community to teach Isreal, which he described as “unlawful, unjust and unscrupulous” a lesson.

 

He expressed the belief that Nigeria will support Palestinians in “this rightful cause.”

 

The message read, “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

 

“Exchanging Eid al-Fitr greetings, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and regional developments.

 

“Drawing attention to Turkey’s efforts exerted in order for the international community to teach the necessary lesson to unlawful, unjust and unscrupulous Israel due to its attacks against Palestine, President Erdogan voiced his belief that Nigeria would show solidarity with the Palestinians in this rightful cause.”

 

Apart from Buhari, reports say Erdogan had also spoken with some other world leaders on the matter.

 

He was said to have spoken with Kyrgyz President, Sadyr Japarov; his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani; Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, a former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad; and Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdul Dbeibeh.

 

According to media reports, Israel’s ongoing offensive on Gaza has left 103 dead, including 27 children and 11 women.

 

The reports quoted the Palestinian Health Ministry.  Another 580 people were said to have been injured.

 

 

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In another development, Buhari has reportedly called for greater Turkish humanitarian effort in North East

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday titled ‘In a phone call, President Buhari calls for stronger Nigeria-Turkish ties.’

 

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday put a phone call across to his Turkish counterpart, Tecep Tayyep Erdoğan.

 

“President Buhari, who had fruitful discussions, expressed satisfaction with existing bilateral ties between the two countries and called for greater Turkish participation in the economy and the humanitarian efforts in the Northeast.

 

NIGERIA’S HISTORY WITH PALESTINE-ISRAEL

In 2012, Jordan presented a draft resolution before the UN general assembly to accord Palestine a “Non-Member Observer State” status at the UN. A vast majority, 138 of 188 countries, voted in favour of Palestine. One of those countries was Nigeria.

 

In 2011, Nigeria also voted in favour of Palestine becoming a full member of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

 

However, in 2014, another resolution was presented before the UN security council to end Israeli occupation of some of these holy sites and yield Eastern Jerusalem to Palestine.

 

The resolution also sought full UN member status for the country, and Palestine needed nine of 15 votes to get a deal to end Israeli occupation of these sites as soon as 2015 or as late as 2017.

 

Palestine was sure it would get a vote from Nigeria and some other committed allies. But at the nick of time, Nigeria chose to abstain. Palestine got eight votes and was disappointed Nigeria did not come through to make the ninth vote.

 

The state therefore could not get the sites back, neither did it gain full UN member status. Netanyahu praised Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president at the time, for his support.

 

With President Buhari in power, Erdogan is seeking to implicitly change Nigeria’s position on the Israel-Palestinian crisis.

 

So far, the Nigerian government has not taken on clear stance on the battle between Israel and Palestine, which gained global attention on Monday, following the exchange of rockets between both countries.

 

The ministry of foreign affairs released a statement earlier in the week, simply asking for de-escalation of the crisis.

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