Gul chose not to attend the World Policy Conference in Vienna organized by Austrian President Heinz Fischer on Saturday only because Defense Minister Ehud Barak was present. Gul remarked that Israel has yet to fully comprehend the reasons behind Ankara's tough stance against Jerusalem.
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According to the Turkish president, in order for the relations between the two countries to improve, Israel must have peaceful relations with the Palestinians and Arab countries. “When democracy prevails in the Middle East, Israel will eventually have to end its violence in Palestine," said Gul upon returning from Austria.
The Turkish president went on to praise Khaled Mashaal and claimed the Hamas politburo chief had expressed his support of democracy and his willingness to achieve peace with Israel during his visit to Turkey in June.
Gul maintained that the Palestinians were seeking peace, and Israel must therefore cooperate.
Meanwhile, Barak urged the world to increase pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
During the Vienna conference, he stressed that there is still time for crippling world sanctions on Iran's energy sector and its leadership.
On Syria, he predicted Assad and his clique would be forced out of power within weeks.
Associated Press contributed to this report
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