United States remains cool to Erdogan's Gaza visit
The United States remained cool to a possible visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Palestinian territories next month, renewing US opposition to engaging Hamas. State Department acting deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell answered journalists' questions in yesterday's briefing. A top US official said Washington shared global concerns about the plight of the Palestinians, including those living in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Ventrell stressed the US continued to "urge all those wishing to provide international humanitarian support to Gaza to do so through established channels, to ensure that the Palestinians' humanitarian needs and Israel's legitimate security needs are both met." Washington's stand on Hamas has also "not changed," he added, noting US "opposition to engagement with Hamas."