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    Hamas delegation arrive in Ankara

    Hürriyet Haber
    17 Şubat 2006 - 10:14Son Güncelleme : 17 Şubat 2006 - 10:14

    Leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, arrived in Ankara on Thursday to hold meetings with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However, hours after the five-man delegation arrived in the Turkish capital, the Prime Minister's office said the meeting would not take place, but that a meeting would take place with members of the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) at party headquarters instead. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was expected to attend.

    Turkey is the second non-Arab country after Russia to open its doors to the delegation. Western diplomats said that the visit would harm Turkey's strong ties with Israel, these relations are based on strong defense cooperation.

    Gul defended Turkey's position, noting that the meeting was being held upon the Palestinians request, and Turkey would do everything necessary to help ensure peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Gull added that as Hamas came to power in a democratic fashion, it would have to behave in a democratic way.

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