איסמאעיל הנייה וארדואן בטורקיה
Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting with Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul
Photo: Archive
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting with Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul

U.S. slams Turkey's Erdogan for hosting Hamas officials - Turkey rejects statement

State Department says Ankara's decision to hold meeting with terror group's leaders 'isolates Turkey, harms the interest of the Palestinian people and undercuts global effort to stop fighting in Gaza'

Reuters |
Published: 08.25.20 , 21:20
The State Department on Tuesday slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's over his recent hosting several leaders of Hamas in Istanbul.
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  • Turkey rejected the statement its Foreign Ministry said.
    איסמאעיל הנייה וארדואן בטורקיהאיסמאעיל הנייה וארדואן בטורקיה
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting with Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul
    (Photo: Archive)
    In its statement the department said the officials were "Specially Designated Global Terrorists" and the United States was seeking information about one member of the delegation, Hamas' military wing founder Saleh al-Arouri, for his involvement in multiple terrorist attacks, hijackings and kidnappings.
    A Turkish government statement on Saturday said Erdogan received Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas Political Bureau, head of the organization's foreign branch Maher Salah, al-Arouri and the group's representative in Turkey, Jihad Yaghmor.
    According to media reports, Hamas briefed Erdogan on the "Palestinian cause" while complaining about Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, which has been put on ice as part of the normalization agreement with the UAE.
    The State Department said the Saturday meeting was the second time this year Erdogan had welcomed leaders of the armed Islamist group that has controlled Gaza for over a decade, after a meeting on Feb. 1.
    איסמאעיל הנייה וארדואן בטורקיהאיסמאעיל הנייה וארדואן בטורקיה
    Turkish President Erdogan's meeting with Hamas officials in Ankara
    (Photo: Archive)
    "President Erdogan's continued outreach to this terrorist organization only serves to isolate Turkey from the international community, harms the interests of the Palestinian people, and undercuts global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Gaza," it said in a statement.
    "We continue to raise our concerns about the Turkish government's relationship with Hamas at the highest levels."
    U.S. ties with NATO ally Turkey have been strained over issues such as Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems, which prompted Washington to suspend Turkish involvement in its F-35 jet program and threaten sanctions.

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