Hamas selects PM as Turkish PM refuses to meet Hamas leaders
Hamas on Thursday named Ismail Haniyeh, a prominent Hamas member from the Gaza Strip as the next Palestinian prime minister. Haniyeh, 43, led Hamas' list of candidates in the January 25 parliamentary election in which the movement gained a landslide victory.
"We have decided to nominate brother Ismail Haniyeh as the prime minister," a senior Hamas official told Reuters.
On Wednesday, Hamas has chosen Abdel Aziz Duaik as a candidate for speaker for the new Palestinian parliament, according to the AP. A resident of the West Bank city of Hebron, Duaik, currently works as a geography professor.
In further diplomatic advances, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal arrived on Thursday on Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Abudullah Gul said that he had clarified to Hamas that his country stood behind the Middle East quartet's condition to withhold aid from the Palestinian government unless the Movement renounces violence and abandons its commitment to Israel's destruction.
On her part, Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said her Turkish peer had told her in advance that a Hamas delegation would be arriving in Turkey for talks. Livni said Thursday that Israel was opposed to this meeting.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan did not meet leaders of Hamas during their visit to Ankara. "It is out of the question that the prime minister hold talks with the Hamas delegation," an official told reporters.
Meanwhile, in an apparent shift in policy towards the Palestinian Hamas party, Jordan on Wednesday invited the group's leaders to visit the kingdom. The moderation of Jordan's policy towards Hamas comes six years after the group was expelled from the country in 1999.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)