Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hamas chief meets Turkish leaders in Ankara

Ankara (AFP) - Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal held closed-door talks with Turkish leaders in Ankara late on Wednesday, officials said.

Meshaal, who often shows up at events hosted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

No statement was made to the press after the talks.

The visit came just weeks after Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon accused Turkey of hosting a senior member of the Islamist movement's exiled leadership who was actively planning attacks.

Attempts to activate cells in the West Bank originate in "Hamas headquarters in Gaza and Istanbul, from where Salah Aruri plans severe attacks against us by proxies in the West Bank and in neighbouring countries," he said.

"Salah Aruri is acting from Turkey -- a NATO member, which at the same time allows a terror base on its territory," he charged.

Israeli media subsequently reported that Turkey had bowed to the US pressure and agreed to order Aruri to leave the country.

A Turkish official on Wednesday said that Aruri was not in Turkey.

"He is not in Turkey according to information I have," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.