Cairo (CNN) — — Turkey’s prime minister planted himself at the heart of the Arab world’s turbulent politics on Tuesday, when he declared himself a champion of the Palestinian cause during a speech at the headquarters of the League of Arab States.
“Our Palestinian brothers should declare an independent state,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced to an assembly of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.
“Now is the time to have the Palestinian flag in Gaza, and the Palestinian flag should go to the United Nations,” Erdogan said to applause from the audience. “Let us hoist the Palestinian flag to the sky, and this should be a symbol of justice and peace in the Middle East.”
Erdogan put an end to decades of relative Turkish isolation from the Arab world. During a speech that sought to highlight shared history, values and faith, he frequently referred to Arabs as “brothers.”
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