Several days after Israeli commandos raided an aid ship headed for Gaza, heads of state around the world are focusing their attention towards investigating the events of May 31 and working towards ending the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been very vocal in condemning Israeli actions after the death of several Turkish citizens, has made a statement calling for the formation of an international investigation. According to Erdogan, the acceptance of such an investigation would be the only way to better Israeli-Turkish relations. He went on to say that if Israel refused an international investigation that, “it means that they are hiding some facts.” In addition, Prime Minister Erdogan has been reported to be considering a trip to Gaza aboard a Turkish Naval vessel. While this has caused some in Israel to threaten violence at another attempt to breach the blockade, the official tone is much more moderate and IDF leaders have made statements essentially telling their colleagues to calm down.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has given his public and whole-hearted support of Turkey and its leader. He has also made official statements saying, “We are not just people who talks and issue declarations of condemnation. We are in favor of actions, and we declare that we will support every decision and every step that Turkey requests in order to break the blockade, including support of an international inquiry.”
However, Turkey is not the only country making a move for progress in the region. Today US Vice President Joe Biden met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt to discuss the conditions in Gaza and potential solutions. In the past, Egypt has been a major player in peace talks concerning Israelis and Palestinians. In an official statement VP Biden called the situation in Gaza “unsustainable for all sides”, and urges that negotiations will have to take place.
As tension continues to surround Israeli actions in Gaza, hopefully these diplomatic efforts will be received with open arms and lead to a step in the right direction for a new round of peace talks in the region.