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Turkish PM calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza
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Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian territory of Gaza Strip, which has been under intensive Israeli airstrikes in the past six days.

Erdogan made his call at a press conference following talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian MENA news agency reported.

The Israeli attacks on Gaza has destroyed infrastructure in the Palestinian enclave, said Erdogan, adding that Israel should immediately stop its military operation.

The Turkish prime minister also called on Palestinian militants to halt firing rockets on Israel.

As for the current inter-Palestinian rift, Erdogan said his country has the willingness to broker a reconciliation among the rival Palestinian factions.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan discussed with Mubarak means of mobilizing efforts to put an end to the Israeli attacks, restore calmness and reopen border crossings of the Palestinian enclave.

They also reviewed the outcome of an Arab foreign ministers emergency meeting on Wednesday, during which the Arabs decided to send a delegation to lobby the UN Security Council to adopt an Arab-proposed draft resolution calling for ending the Israeli operation in Gaza.

The Israeli operation, dubbed Cast Lead, entered its sixth day on Thursday. According to Palestinian sources, the offensive beginning Saturday has so far killed more than 400 people and injured over 2,000 others.

(Xinhua News Agency January 2, 2009)

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