Monday, January 19, 2009

Turkey Urges World to Respect Authority of Hamas

Agence France Presse (via Yahoo News), Brussels, January 19, 2009 - Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, speaking on a visit to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, said the militant Islamist group had clearly won elections in Gaza in 2007 and this had to be respected.

"We should not be squeezing them into the corner," he said.

Hamas should be left the time to show if it was capable of improving conditions in Gaza, he said.

"If they are not successful they will lose the next time," Erdogan said in a speech at a European Policy Center conference.

"If we are to move towards democracy in that region then we should respect the decision of the people who went to the ballot box," the Turkish premier, whose ruling party comes from Islamist roots, added.

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