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    Israeli Ambassador to Ankara rejects offer of "Hamas briefing"

    Hürriyet Haber
    20.02.2006 - 13:11 | Son Güncelleme: 20.02.2006 - 13:12

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry, which invited the Israeli Ambassador Pinhas Avivi to receive a briefing on the recent Hamas visit to Ankara, had its invitation rejected by Avivi, who said "Hamas still wants to destroy Israel, their attitude is clear, there is no need for us to get a briefing on this subject."

    Turkish Foreign Ministry officials briefed the US, EU, Russian, and UN authorities in the wake of the Hamas visit as to what had happened during Halit Meshaad's time in Ankara. An invitation for a similar briefing had been issued to Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, Avivi, but he turned it down following Hamas' failure to recognize Israel at a swearing in ceremony in Palestine.
     
    Turkish-Israeli relations: "fantastic"
     
    An authority from the Israeli Embassy in Ankara said that that embassy officials were prepared to speak with Turkish Foreign Ministry officials on every subject and under every condition, and that they did not want Turkish-Israeli relations to suffer as a result of the Hamas visit. "The relations between the two countries in 2005 and through the start of 2006 were fantastic, and will continue that way, though of course we have different perspectives on the question of Hamas," said the official.

    Sezer to go to Israel in the summer
     
    Plans for top level visits to Israel by Turkish authorities are in the works currently. It is anticipated that Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will visit Israel in June. Meanwhile, it is expected that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will invite the new Israeli prime minister to Turkey following the upcoming elections in Israel. Erdogan had invited Ariel Sharon, who is still in the hospital with his life in the balance, to Turkey prior to Sharon's massive stroke earlier this year.

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