Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Turkey announced Saturday it has recalled its ambassador to Israel amid the continuing bombardment of the Gaza Strip as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepared to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement the move was made due to the need for consultations "in view of the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by the continuing attacks by Israel against civilians, and Israel's refusal (to accept) a cease-fire."
Erdogan, meanwhile, announced Saturday he suspending all talks with Israel because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the situation in Gaza.
"Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have written him off," Erdogan told Turkish media.
The president clarified Turkey is not fully severing diplomatic ties with Israel, adding his country's intelligence chief is in talks with both Hamas and Israel in an effort to end hostilities in Gaza.
Jordan on Monday also pulled its ambassador to Israel back to Amman, while Israel previously recalled all of its ambassadors to countries in the Middle East for security precautions.
The moves came as Blinken headed to Turkey to meet with top diplomats there following a round of talks with Arab leaders Saturday in Amman, where he consulted with Jordan's foreign minister as well top diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Blinken met with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv Friday to discuss a possible "humanitarian pause" in the assault on Hamas, but the Israeli Prime Minister said the country will not consider letting up on its military campaign until all hostages held by Hamas have been freed.
Blinken's meeting in Ankara will underscore the importance of protecting civilian lives in Israel and the Gaza Strip and "our shared commitment to facilitating the increased, sustained delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, the resumption of essential services, and ensuring that Palestinians are not forcibly displaced outside of Gaza," the U.S. State Department said in a statement Saturday.
"He will also discuss urgent mechanisms to stem violence, calm rhetoric, reduce regional tensions, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to working with partners to set the conditions necessary for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East, to include the establishment of a Palestinian state."