Hamas arrives in Turkey to seek support

A senior delegation of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), headed by its politburo chief Khaled Meshal, arrived in Turkey on Thursday on a visit seen as a bid to seek support from Ankara.

It is the first visit by a senior Hamas leader to a non-Arab country since the group scored a victory in the Jan. 25 Palestinian parliamentary elections.

Meshal earlier held talks with deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Ahmet Uzumcu in the capital Ankara and isexpected to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoganlater in the day.

In response, Israel has voiced opposition to the Hamas delegation's visit to Turkey, but the Turkish Foreign Ministrysaid in a statement that Ankara would urge Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction, to fulfill the expectations of the international community.

The Quartet Committee, the international Mideast peacemaking group which includes the United States, the European Union, theUnited Nations and Russia, has demanded Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by previous Palestinian agreements with Israel, reports Xinhua.

I.L.

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