Turkey's prime minister may visit Gaza

Nov. 28, 2012 at 7:41 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he may accompany Hamas leader Khaled Meshal on a visit next week to Gaza.

Returning to Ankara after visiting Madrid, Erdogan told reporters he may accompany the Hamas leader on his Dec. 5 visit to the Gaza Strip, Today's Zaman said Wednesday.

"Yesterday I had talks with Khaled Meshal. I could ... surprise ... you [by visiting Gaza]. He invited [me to Gaza]," Erdogan said.

Erdogan has mentioned several times in recent months he plans to visit Gaza, the paper said.

For years Hamas has relied on its ties with Syria and Iran to provide it with cash and weapons. The uprising in Syria forced Hamas to leave its Damascus headquarters, and search for a new benefactor, the paper said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Gaza during the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense along with a dozen Arab ministers.

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