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Khaled Mashaal
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Report: Turkey refuses to host Hamas HQ
Ankara dismisses reports suggesting Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal will set up movement's new headquarters in Turkey; further denies pledging $300M in aid funds to Hamas

Ankara will not allow Khaled Mashaal to relocate Hamas' Politburo to Turkey, the Turkish website Today's Zaman reported on Monday.

 

According to the report, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc said that Meshaal’s stay in Turkey was "out of question."

 

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He also denied reports suggesting that Ankara had pledged $300 million in aid funds to Gaza Strip's rulers.

 

The Damascus-based Hamas Politburo has decided to relocate following the growing unrest in Syria. It has been looking for another Arab country to host its headquarters, but has so far failed to find one.

 

Mashaal had recently visited Turkey which, unlike its fellow NATO members, recognizes Hamas as a legal political party. The West considers Hamas a terror organization.

 

Still, Arınc insisted that the relocation was out of question.

 

Arınc stressed that Turkey’s ultimate goal was "to realize peace process between Israel and united Palestinian political factions," adding that Turkey believes that "strengthening the Palestinians unity will benefit the Palestinian people and the peace process."

 

Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh left Gaza for a regional tour Monday.

 

Haniyeh's tour is expected to include stops in Iran, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

 

Haniyeh is travelling with his political adviser Yussef Rizq, his minister of housing and public works Yussef al-Mansi and two key Hamas members – Yehia Sinwar and Rawhi Mushtaha. The latter were released from Israeli prison in 2011 as part of the Shalit deal.

 

The trip is Haniyeh's second since his appointment to Hamas PM.

 

AFP contributed to this report

 

You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs correspondent, at: paldesk@gmail.com  

 

 

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פרסום ראשון: 01.30.12, 22:43
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