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Middle East

Turkey offers help on captured Israeli, says Gaza ceasefire priority

File - US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) gestures during a conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) in the garden at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Paris, on July 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHARLES DHARAPAK

ISTANBUL: Turkey will do what it can to help free an Israeli soldier whose capture led to the breakdown of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas but the priority should be the reinstatement of a truce, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday.

"What is important is that the ceasefire is reinstated. To ensure this, together with others, we can take any step that could resolve this Israeli soldier issue. If Turkey can do anything, we will do our best," Davutoglu told reporters.

"But if the ceasefire is stopped because an Israeli soldier is kidnapped, somebody should account for the 70 Palestinians killed (today). In our eyes, all people are equal," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, fearing an escalation of violence in Gaza, earlier called on Turkey and Qatar to use their influence to secure the release of the Israeli soldier.

 

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