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Kerry Says ‘Vibrant’ Turkey Can Play Key Role In Middle East


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Istanbul.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Turkey can play a major role in the Middle East peace process.

Speaking in Istanbul, Kerry described Turkey as “vibrant and energized” and said it could be key in advancing Mideast peace by encouraging reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

Kerry, who met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, urged Turkish officials to repair ties with Israel.

Relations between the two countries broke down three years ago, after Israeli forces raided a Turkish aid ship.

Turkey is Kerry’s first stop on a 10-day diplomatic trip to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Later today, the U.S. secretary of state is due to travel on to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa