Thursday, February 16, 2006

Turkey meets with Hamas in an official visit

Turkish PM Erdogan

A Hamas delegation headed by hard-line leader Khaled Mashaal arrived in Turkey Thursday in order to meet with official Turkish representatives.Ynetnews - News - Turkey hosts Hamas; Israel furious

This is the first visit by Hamas to a non-Arab country since the group won the Palestinian elections at the end of January. Meanwhile, an official invitation to visit Russia was received at Hamas' Gaza office.

The Turkish government said the invitation to Hamas came from the ruling Islamic party in the country and not from the Foreign Ministry.

The Israeli government is unhappy about this, to say the least.As I predicted, once Israel expressed ambivilance and paid out money to the Hamas led government, it was a signal to the rest of the world (except the US) that it was business with the Palestinians as usual.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had a conversation with Israeli FM Tzipi Livni Wednesday and briefed her on the upcoming meeting with Hamas. Gul took note of Israel's objections, but gave the expected assurances that Turkey would send Hamas a clear message to recognize Israel and renounce violence. I'm certain the subject may have come up, at least for a minute or so.

Israel and Turkey maintain a close alliance that includes, among other things, extensive military cooperation. After the election of Erdogan and the Islamic party, those ties appear to have cooled...and this is just another sign of the times.

1 comment:

Dan Zaremba said...

When the Israeli protested and compared the dealigs with Hamas to possible dealings with PKK the Tuks started howling.