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Urging sanctions, Erdogan tells pope: All of humanity should be united against Israel

In this March 24, 2021, file photo, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during his ruling party's congress inside a packed sports hall in Ankara, Turkey. (Turkish Presidency via AP, File)
In this March 24, 2021, file photo, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during his ruling party's congress inside a packed sports hall in Ankara, Turkey. (Turkish Presidency via AP, File)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urges Pope Francis to help rally the world to adopt sanctions against Israel for its “massacre” of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan told Pope Francis in a phone call that “Palestinians will continue to be subjected to a massacre unless the international community punishes Israel… with sanctions,” the Turkish presidency says.

The pope’s messages were of “great importance to mobilize the Christian world and the international community,” the Turkish statement adds.

The pope on Sunday said the loss of innocent lives in the violence was “terrible and unacceptable,” warning that the conflict risked “degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction.”

Erdogan, who has vocally championed the Palestinian cause during his 18-year rule, has spoken out repeatedly against Israel’s actions, accusing it of waging “terrorism” last week.

He told the pope on Monday that “all of humanity should be united against” Israel, his office says.

“The savagery caused by Israel threatens regional security,” he added.

The Turkish push for sanctions against Israel included a phone call on Monday between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his British counterpart Dominic Raab.

Cavusoglu told Raab it was “essential that the international community should give a stronger reaction” to Israel’s aggression, a Turkish foreign ministry source says.

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