Hamas political leader holds talks with Turkey

Khaled Mashaal, the exiled political leader of the militant Palestinian group Hamas, arrived in Ankara on Thursday for talks with Turkish leaders, the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that Turkish officials would repeat the "expectations of the international community" during the meeting, which it said was organized at Hamas' request. Mashaal was accompanied by several other Hamas officials.

Turkey, which has close ties with both Israel and the Palestinians, has already been urging Hamas to renounce violence.

Hamas, which does not recognize Israel, won a landslide victory in Palestinian legislative elections last month. Mashaal and other officials from the militant movement are conducting a regional and international tour to rally support before forming the new Palestinian government.

Mashaal said Tuesday in Sudan that the Palestinian group had no plans to recognize Israel, one of three conditions set by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations for dealing with a Hamas-led government.

The two others are an end to attacks on Israel and acceptance of past Palestinian-Israeli agreements.

"There will be no recognition of Israel, and there will be no security for the occupation and colonization forces," Mashaal told a rally in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. "Resistance will remain our strategic option,” reports the AP.

I.L.