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Turkish president rejects labeling of Hamas as a ‘terror group’

December 2, 2023 at 2:49 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech as he attends the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 01, 2023. [Muhammed Selim Korkutata – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his stance on Palestinian group Hamas and said he can “never accept” Hamas as a terror group, Anadolu Agency reports.

“I stand by my position. No matter what anybody says, I can never accept Hamas as a terror group,” Erdogan said while speaking to journalists on board the presidential plane returning from Dubai, where he attended the COP28 climate summit.

Emphasizing Turkiye’s approach centered around seeking opportunities for permanent peace in the region, he said Ankara acts with the motto – “How can we find the opportunity for permanent peace again?”

“We have come to a point with our interlocutors that Gaza (issue) cannot be debated if there is no two-state solution,” he noted.

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“If we prioritize a two-state solution, the Gaza (issue) and threats will disappear. The exclusion of Hamas is not a realistic scenario”, Erdogan added.

The Israeli army resumed bombing the Gaza Strip early Friday after declaring an end to a week-long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas.

At least 178 Palestinians have been killed and 589 injured on Friday in Israeli airstrikes, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The humanitarian pause began on Nov. 24 as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas to temporarily halt fighting to allow hostage swaps and aid delivery.

More than 15,000 Palestinians, mostly children and women, have been killed in Israeli attacks since Oct. 7 following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

Around 1,200 Israelis have also been killed, according to official estimates.

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