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Putin raises concerns of 'catastrophic deterioration' in Gaza

By AFP - Oct 25,2023 - Last updated at Oct 25,2023

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed fears of a sharp deterioration of the situation in besieged Gaza during a call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

The leaders expressed "deep concern over the growing number of civilian casualties and the catastrophic deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip", the Kremlin said.

Putin and Erdogan also discussed the "unacceptable" strikes by Israel on residential neighbourhoods and religious sites, according to the statement.

They said the "positions of Russia and Turkey practically coincide" and were focused on a two-state solution.

Hamas fighters stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7 and killed at least 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials.

More than 5,700 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in relentless Israeli bombardments, according to the latest toll from the Hamas health ministry in Gaza.

Putin on Monday called for "unhindered access" for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

Meanwhile, Erdogan on Tuesday accused the United Nations Security Council of deepening the crisis in Gaza by bowing to the “Israeli regime”.

Erdogan, a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause, had taken a more measured tone in the first days of the war, calling on both sides for restraint.

“The international community is not rising to the challenge in the face of the Israeli regime’s unlawful and unrestrained attacks against civilians,” Erdogan said in a statement marking the 78th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations.

“We observe that the United Nations Security Council has deepened the crisis with its one-sided attitude, instead of stopping the bloodshed, ensuring a ceasefire as soon as possible, and taking steps to prevent civilian casualties,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan’s comments appeared moments after he spoke by phone with Putin, whose country is one of the five permanent Security Council members, alongside Britain, China, France and the United States.

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