Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul On Sunday night at the Presidential Offices in Ramallah to discuss the latest development in the Palestinian areas.

Particularly inspired by this sensitive stage in the Middle East, Foreign Minister Gul emphasized that the issue of Palestine is at the core of the regional conflict.

The Turkish official said, “If we do not find a lasting and comprehensive solution, this issue will be the cause of more problems to come.”

Minister Gul spoke to the press after the Sunday night meeting saying, “It is now time to renew negotiations for peace, and the key to that is to release the Israeli soldier, the Palestinian Authority Ministers and the Palestinian Members of Parliament.”

The Israeli soldier was captured while invading Rafah months ago and since Hamas took office this winter, forces have been arresting them. The most prominent was Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker, Dr. Azziz Dweik from his Ramallah home. Saturday Israeli forces took the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Dr. Nasser Addin Al Sha’er, and Sunday Israeli forces arrested PLC Secretary Mahmoud Al Ramahi from in front of his Ramallah home after lying in wait for the elected official.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Gul continued to say that fully supports the Palestinians and that the Turkish government is bound to this support.

Chief of Negotiations Affairs for the Palestine Liberation Organization, Dr. Sa’eb Erekat, also spoke to the press last night. He placed great emphasis on the importance of Minister Gul’s visit to Ramallah, pointing out that the discussion between President Abbas and the Turkish Foreign Minister included all relevant issues. However Dr. Erekat stressed that the most emphasis was placed on the continuing Israeli aggression.

Other key issues on the table were efforts to preserve internal calm and forming a Palestinian national unity government.