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    Erdogan on Hamas: We do not need permission from anybody

    Hürriyet Haber
    22.02.2006 - 10:11 | Son Güncelleme:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has responded to Israel's sharp criticism of the visit by a Hamas delegation to Ankara last week, saying "We do not need to get permission from anybody." In reference to news that Israel is planning on cutting off finances from reaching the new Palestinian leadership, Erdogan said "Trying to tame the new structure in Palestine through economic means is not democratic....it is disrespectful to Palestinian people."

    Speaking further about the dialogue that transpired between Turkish and Hamas leaders last week, PM Erdogan said "We gave the right message to Hamas at the right time, and in doing so, took care of our responsibilities to humanity and history, as well as strengthening our moral standing. We will continue to openly pass the same messages on to them."
    On Israel: "There is no crisis"
    Touching on some of the controversy about the alleged secrecy that surrounded the visit by the Hamas delegation, PM Erdogan said the following to his cabinet group and an AKP group in Ankara: "We were never going to beat the drums in advance of their arrival. For security reasons, we had to keep things secretive. This is why we did not tell you. We did our brotherly duty, and now the rest is up to them." In reference to tension coming out from Israel in the wake of the Hamas visit, Erdogan said "There is no crisis at hand. Following their elections, both sides will have an opportunity to calmly analyze the situation."
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