Hamas rejects Turkish mediation with rival Fatah

A spokesman for Hamas said that if Turkey wishes to be included in the political reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah, it should do so through Egypt, which has played the role of facilitator in talks.

Hamas rejects Turkish mediation with rival Fatah

World Bulletin/News Desk

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, has said that if Turkey wishes to be included in the political reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah, it should do so through Egypt, which has played the role of facilitator in talks between the two political groups.

“Egypt hosts talks [between Hamas and Fatah] to maintain unity in Palestine, it already has an active role. If Turkey wants to be included in the process at this point, it should do it through Egypt. So, Turkey can only be included once it cooperates with Egypt,” said the Hamas spokesman to Turkish press on Friday.

He also voiced his surprise at claims made by Turkish officials that Turkey may try to convince Hamas to recognize Israel, saying he did not know about Turkey's possible role in Palestinian reconciliation.

Before US Secretary of State John Kerry's latest visit to Turkey last week, Kerry and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoflu, discussed ways to unlock the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during a telephone call.

Davutoglu and Palestinian officials also discussed the current stage reached in the consensus between Hamas and Fatah and possible steps that could be taken within that scope. According to diplomatic sources, Davutoglu told Palestinian officials that Turkey's support and efforts to restore inner consensus between Hamas and Fatah in Palestine would continue.

“We give importance to Turkey's support for the Palestinian people. Yet, we do not really favor the idea of making reconciliation with Fatah more complicated. As I have noted, Egypt controls the consensus process,” said Abu Zuhri as he implied skepticism over a role Turkey can play in the process. However, the Hamas spokesman also said Hamas was not against Turkey being included in talks that could bring about consensus between Hamas and Fatah.

Ankara has long pushed for political reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, noting that the lack of unity only harms Palestinian interests, although the secular Fatah and conservative Hamas are seemingly far from reaching a compromise over their political disputes currently.

He also refuted claims appearing in the media indicating that the Israel-Palestine peace talks could take place in Turkey, adding that such claims were far from being true. “Hamas continues to reject having talks with Israel and Turkey also about this. We have learned from our past experiences. Fatah has a long history with Israel. They have sat at the table many times and the result is obvious. Those talks never succeeded,” Abu Zuhri added.

In relation to the Israeli apology to Turkey for the 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara, an aid ship carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip that was attacked by Israeli commandos, who killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American, the Hamas spokesman said the apology was a success for Turkey.

He said Hamas asked Turkey not to normalize ties with Israel unless the Gaza blockade is removed, also adding that Hamas nevertheless did not meet the Israeli apology with disappointment. “After all, Turkey is a free country and is free to do as it wishes,” said Abu Zuhri, adding, “The apology did not affect our relations with Turkey.”

Last Mod: 13 Nisan 2013, 09:56
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