Haniya is welcome in Turkey: FM

Haniya is welcome in Turkey: FM

EDIRNE - Hürriyet Daily News
Haniya is welcome in Turkey: FM

FM Davutoğlu says Turkey welcomes any visit from Gaza in principle. AA photo

Gaza Strip’s Hamas prime minister is always welcome in Turkey, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said yesterday. Ismail Haniya is expected to travel to Turkey soon.

“As a country that helps and defends Gaza and considers this issue a matter of human rights, we welcome any visit from Gaza in principle. We have no hesitation on this,” Davutoğlu told reporters yesterday in Edirne at the end of the Fourth Ambassadors Conference.

Palestinians held transparent elections long before the Arab Spring and Haniya received significant support from the Palestinian people, Davutoğlu said. Turkey is ready to help in any process that would contribute to peace and unite the Palestinians, he added.

The minister recalled Turkey’s contributions to meetings between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal earlier in the year. “Every Palestinian is a precious guest for us,” he said.
In a separate development, Abu Khalil, one of the Palestinian prisoners Turkey received after they were released by Israel as part of a swap deal with Hamas, tied the knot late Dec. 29 at a wedding party in an Ankara hotel. The Palestinian ex-inmates have so far been kept strictly out of the public eye.

In further comments yesterday, Davutoğlu rejected criticism from the main opposition, which argued the Ambassadors Conference was starting to resemble a camp of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The minister recalled he had also invited opposition members to a dinner at his residence as part of the conference.