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Report: Egypt cancels Erdogan visit to Gaza

Aug. 4, 2013 3:39 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 8, 2013 12:19 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities have canceled a planned visit to Gaza by the Turkish Prime Minister, a popular Egyptian news site said Sunday.

Youm7, or the seventh day, quoted Egyptian diplomatic sources as saying that Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the Gaza Strip had been canceled following the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and subsequent change in government.

The Gaza trip was also canceled because of Erdogan's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Youm7 reported.

A senior official in the ruling Hamas movement said in June that Erdogan was due to visit the coastal territory in July, but the Turkish leader's press secretary had stressed that the date was still undecided.

The Turkish leader has previously said his visit to Gaza would be aimed at pushing for an end to Israel's blockade on the tiny coastal territory which has been in place since 2006.

Egypt's state prosecutor said last week that ousted President Mohamed Mursi was detained for questioning over suspected collaboration with Hamas in attacks on police stations and prison breaks in early 2011.

Hamas condemned the move, saying it was "based on the premise that the Hamas movement is hostile," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP in response.

"This is a dangerous development, which confirms that the current powers in Egypt are giving up on national causes and even using these issues to deal with other parties -- first among them the Palestinian cause."
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