The United States has criticised Turkish President Recep Erdogan, for hosting two leaders of Palestinian Sunni-Islamic organisation, Hamas, on Saturday.
Reports say Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, and his deputy, Solah Al Arouri, designated a wanted terrorist by the U.S., were part of the large delegation hosted by Erdogan in Istanbul.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo, said in a statement on Tuesday that Erdogan’s relationship with Hamas served to isolate Turkey from the international community.
“The United States strongly objects to Turkish President Erdogan hosting two Hamas leaders in Istanbul on Aug. 22.
“Hamas is designated as a terrorist organisation by the U.S and EU and both officials hosted by President Erdogan are Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
“The U.S. Rewards for Justice Programme is seeking information about one of the individuals for his involvement in multiple terrorist attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings,” Pompeo said.
According to him, Turkey’s continued outreach to the organisation is undermining the interests of the Palestinian people, and undercutting global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Gaza.
“We continue to raise our concerns about the Turkish government’s relationship with Hamas at the highest levels.
“This is the second time President Erdogan has welcomed Hamas leadership to Turkey this year with the first meeting occurring Feb. 1,” he said.