UN's Secretary General to visit Turkey, regional states for Gaza ceasefire
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will pay a visit to Turkey on Friday, Anadolu agency said.
The secretary general will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reported World bulletin.
U.N. Secretary-General heads this week to the Middle East, where he plans to press the Israelis and regional leaders to bring an end to Israel's 18-day assault on Gaza, diplomats and U.N. officials said.
Reuters said Ban also intends to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his foreign minister Tzipi Livni, King Abdullah of Jordan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He will also travel to Lebanon to meet leaders there.
Israel's military assault in the Gaza Strip is expected to dominate all of his meetings in the Middle East, diplomats and U.N. officials said.
"He's very keen to be out there calling for a ceasefire," said one U.N. official. "Just stop the fighting, stop it now."
Ban leaves for the region on Tuesday and is expected back in New York a week later, U.N. officials said.
Hamas official Osama Hamdan said delegates who held talks in Cairo on Sunday on a ceasefire had returned to Damascus for consultations with the group's leadership and to formulate a final position on the Egyptian initiative.
Israel ignored a U.N. ceasefire resolution last week and continued attacking Gazans.