Turkish PM to press ahead with Gaza visit

AP News
Posted: Apr 23, 2013 7:40 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister says he is determined to go ahead with plans to visit the Gaza Strip despite a U.S. request that he delay the trip.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he plans to visit Gaza after a trip to Washington on May 16, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged him to postpone the trip saying the time was not right.

The United States, Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fear the visit could strengthen the militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Erdogan said Tuesday it was out of the question for him to postpone the plans, and called Kerry's public request for a delay "not chic."

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc called Kerry's statement "diplomatically objectionable, wrong and incorrect."