Turkish PM Erdoğan meets Hamas leader Meshal and Gaza PM Haniyeh
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
In this photo released by the Turkish Prime Minister's Press Office, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seen during a meeting with Khalid Mashaal, the Hamas chief in exile, center, and Gaza PM Ismail Haniyeh in Ankara June 18. AP photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came together with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and Prime Minister of the Gaza administration Ismail Haniyeh in Ankara on June 18, in a meeting that lasted over two-and-a-half hours. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also attended the meeting.
Israel’s Jerusalem policies were expected to top the agenda of the meeting, according to Hamas’ International Relations official Usame Hamdan. Hamdan also said the construction of Israeli settlements and Israel’s "imposition policies" aimed at the Palestinian economy would also be discussed during the meeting. Another topic to be discussed was the gap still existing between the two main Palestinian representatives, Hamas and Fatah, he added.
“Turkey’s role in the Middle East and the world is crucial,” Hamdan told Anatolia news agency.
Erdoğan's upcoming visit to Gaza was also expected to be discussed with the visiting Palestinian officials. The Turkish prime minister had repeatedly expressed his intention to go to Gaza in May, but had to postpone it for his critical visit to Washington DC on May 16.
There is still no fixed date for his planned visit to Gaza, with Turkish officials expressing their intention to realize the visit after reconciliation is achieved between Hamas and Fatah.
Although talks between the two groups have recently intensified, no breakthrough for a unity government is looming.