Palestenian PM: "Turkey presents a good model for us"
Speaking to Milliyet daily over the weekend, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad underlined the warm, deep-rooted ties between Turkey and his country, and also voiced admiration for Turkey's economic achievements in recent years. "Turkey has recently reversed economic conditions, and its developments are inspiring especially for us Palestinians," he said. On the Palestinian government's efforts to offer better services to its people, Fayyad said, "We're changing the way of doing things here from top to bottom. We're forming strong and effective public service institutions. With its successes, Turkey offers a good model for us." Now it is the time to strengthen our ties as well as improve economic cooperation, he added. Touching on the dire problems facing Palestine, he said, "One of them is the Israeli-imposed blockade of Gaza. Even before Israel's attack on the Mavi Marmara (aid ship on May 31, leaving nine Turks dead), the international community was criticizing the blockade. There was a consensus on lifting the blockade, but to no avail." Praising Turkey's efforts to end the blockade, Fayyad added, "Not only Gaza but also the West Bank is under Israeli occupation. This must come to an end. Our people should be free in their land. Gaza and the West Bank are (parts of one country). We must overcome this separation or else we will never have an independent state."