The US has asked Turkey to put pressure on the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in order to “reduce tensions and prevent violence” in the occupied territories. A spokesman for the US state department said that the matter has been raised at senior levels with the government in Ankara.
According to Jeff Rathke, the US continues to raise concerns about the relationship between Hamas and Turkey with senior officials, most recently after the visit of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. “We take Hamas as a terrorist organisation very seriously… That is why we express our concerns to Turkey when things such as this happen,” he said.
Meshaal visited Turkey last Saturday and met Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Konya. The Hamas leader attended the annual conference of the ruling Development and Justice Party. The Palestinian and Turkish officials discussed various common issues, including humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip and the ongoing Israeli escalation in occupied Jerusalem.