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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 10:46 GMT
Peres starts historic Turkey trip
Shimon Peres with Turkish President Abdullah Gul
Presidents Peres and Gul have very different political roots
Israel's president has met his Turkish counterpart for talks about a coming Middle East peace conference, with the Palestinian leader also due in Ankara.

Shimon Peres will address parliament on Tuesday, the first time an Israeli president will have been welcomed by a Muslim country's legislature.

Mahmoud Abbas will address MPs separately later on Monday.

Mr Peres said discussions would deal with a planned industrial zone Turkey wants to build in the West Bank.

The zone is expected to create thousands of jobs for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territory.

Islamist rooted

The meetings in Ankara come shortly before Israeli and Palestinian delegations are due to head to Annapolis for a US-sponsored conference aimed at relaunching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Israel's presidency is a largely ceremonial role that caps Mr Peres political career spanning six decades.

His election in June ended a run of election defeats between 1974 and 2005, including four lost general elections as leader of the Labour party.

Turkey is one of Israel's most important strategic allies since their signing a defence agreement in 1996.

President Abdullah Gul became the first former Islamist to serve as head of the secular Turkish state, after his Islamist-rooted AK Party won elections in July.

Palestinian Authority President Mr Abbas is expected later on Monday in Ankara, which is hosting an economic forum of Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian business people.





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