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Middle East

Turkey FM meets Hamas chief in Doha for Gaza talks

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal talks during a news conference in Doha July 23 ,2014. (REUTERS)

ANKARA: Turkey's foreign minister on Friday met Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in the Qatari capital Doha to help efforts to broker a ceasefire with Israel, a government official said.

Ahmet Davutoglu met Meshaal in Doha for "negotiations aimed at a fair ceasefire," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "The talks are proceeding in a positive direction."

The minister's unscheduled meeting comes after telephone talks with his counterparts from the United States and Qatar on Thursday night. 

Turkey, a staunch critic of the Israeli assaults in Gaza, is pressing for involvement of Hamas in any negotiations for a ceasefire.

In Doha, Davutoglu also met with his counterpart from Qatar. 

"We have been working with Qatar on a text drafted by Hamas for a ceasefire," the official said. 

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who presents himself as a rare global Muslim leader who stands up for Palestinian rights, has accused Israel of carrying out a "genocide" in Gaza.

His rhetoric sparked condemnation from Israel and severe criticism from Turkey's NATO ally the United States.

 

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