BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 P.M.) – On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department expressed its “strong objection” to the recent meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul with the leaders of the Palestinian Hamas Movement.
The State Department warned Ankara that this step would lead to “isolating” Turkey internationally.
Theystated in a statement that “Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.”
Last Saturday, Erdogan received a delegation from Hamas led by the head of the movement’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh. Among the delegation was Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau.
The U.S. State Department said, “Both officials who Erdogan hosted are classified as global terrorists. The American Rewards for Justice program seeks to obtain information about one of them for his involvement in several terrorist attacks and kidnappings.”
The U.S. State Department warned that “President Erdogan’s continuous communication with this terrorist organization only leads to isolating Turkey from the international community, harms the interests of the Palestinian people, and undermines global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Gaza.”