Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to break the daily fast [Iftar] during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. According to Turkish TRT television, Erdogan hosted Mashaal and several other Hamas officials at his residence in Ankara on Tuesday evening. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the head of Turkey's national intelligence agency, MIT, Hakan Fidan also attended the meeting, which lasted for more than three hours. Details of the meeting remain unknown.
Turkish sources had earlier reported that Ankara has excluded Israel from a fast-breaking dinner organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara for foreign ambassadors.Ties between Turkey and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, have been developing in recent years especially after Ankara-Tel Aviv relations soured over a deadly Israeli attack on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza in 2010, which left nine Turkish activists dead. In January, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh also met with Erdogan at his Istanbul residence. HM/JR/AZ