Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the internationally recognized government of the state of Palestine, met Sunday with German Ambassador Deike Potzel as Turkish diplomats responded to "slander" from Israel.
Hussein Al-Sheikh, the director-general for the executive committee of the PLO, announced the diplomatic meeting in a statement on Twitter.
"We stressed the need to stop the humanitarian catastrophe occurring in the Gaza Strip, and to find ways to calm down and immediately end the ongoing aggression against the Strip, and the urgent need to provide safe passages for humanitarian aid to its residents, and to secure corridors to rescue and treat the injured," Al-Sheikh said.
"Her Excellency Potzel stressed the rejection of the killing of civilians on both sides, and her country's position in support of a political path that guarantees security, calm and stability in the region on the basis of the two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy."
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry responded to "slander" after Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced he is recalling diplomats from Ankara after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chastised Israel for bombing of Gaza in its war against Hamas, a militant group he defended by saying it was "fighting to protect its land and citizens."
"Given the grave statements coming from Turkey, I have ordered the return of diplomatic representatives there in order to conduct a reevaluation of the relations between Israel and Turkey," Cohen had said in a post on Twitter.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry retorted that it rejects "slander and unfounded allegations of some Israeli officials." Israel is a major ally of the United States, as is Turkey -- a longtime member of NATO.
"The efforts of some Israeli officials, who cannot even tolerate the truth and facts being expressed, to change the agenda with distortions and slander in the hope of covering up the brutal massacre targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza will not yield results," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
"The fact that these authorities, who commit a crime against humanity in front of the whole world but cannot even tolerate criticism and condemnation, target the United Nations, the U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and our president ... is a clear indication of their incompetence."
Meanwhile, the government of Sweden -- which hopes to soon join NATO but has been met with resistance by Turkey - had suspended aid to Palestine after the October 7 attack by Hamas, which Israel considers to be a terrorist organization.
However, Erdogan has reportedly sent Sweden's NATO accession bid to the Turkish parliament for ratification -- one of the final hurdles for the Nordic nation -- amid speculation he could be trying to temper his support for Palestine against the unconditional support of his Western allies for Israel.