DAMASCUS (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday on the first stop of a regional tour focusing on Israel's deadly onslaught on Gaza. Their meeting centred on "the dangerous situation in the Gaza Strip because of the Israeli aggression," Syria's official SANA news agency reported. Before leaving Ankara the Turkish Premier condemned Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip as "ruthless". He said he was "deeply concerned over the developments in Gaza. The objective of my tour is to help stop these dangerous developments." Erdogan called for an immediate halt to the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and said, "A permanent ceasefire should be urgently secured to prevent irreversible developments in the region." Assad on Tuesday "underlined the necessity for halting the Israeli massacres which are being committed against the unarmed Palestinian people, lifting the unjust siege on them and opening all the crossings permanently," SANA said. Erdogan will also meet Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in the Jordanian city of Aqaba later on Wednesday. On Thursday he will have talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh and on Saturday will be in Saudi Arabia to meet King Abdullah.