ANKARA, Jan 30 (KUNA) -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc refuted
as incorrect the recent reports that his government is arranging for hosting
the Politburo of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Arinc said it was unlikely that
Ankara will replace Damascus as host of the politburo for the time being.
He also denied reports the his government and other agencies pledged to
offer USD 300 million in financial assistances to the Hamas-led Palestinian
government in Gaza Strip, saying such reports are "totally groundless."
He made the remarks amid local press reports and speculations that Hamas
seeks to relocate its office from crisis-hit Syria's capital to Ankara or
elsewhere in the region.
"Turkey, as one of the strongest supporters of the Palestinian case,
recognizes Hamas as a Palestinian political party that won the last
parliamentary elections. Therefore, we recognized the Hamas-led administration
in Gaza Strip," he pointed out.
The plans of Khaled Mashal, the Politburo chief in exile, to live in
Turkey, were not raised during the talks between Turkish leaders and Prime
Minister of the government in Gaza Ismail Haniya during the latter's visit to
Turkey early this month, Arinc added.
Local press said last week that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
promised Haniyeh to offer up to USD 25 million in monthly assistances for the
government in Gaza to bridge its budget deficit and pay salaries of civil
servants over the coming 12 months. (end)
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