Turkey PM meets Hamas exiled leader Mashaal

AP News
Posted: Mar 16, 2012 7:59 AM
Turkey PM meets Hamas exiled leader Mashaal

Turkey's prime minister is meeting Hamas' chief Khaled Mashaal to discuss reconciliation efforts between the rival Palestinian factions.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday he would be discussing developments concerning Palestinian unity in Ankara on Friday with Hamas' top leader in exile.

Reconciliation efforts between Hamas _ shunned by the West as a terror group _ and Fatah continue, but they have encountered new obstacles.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he cannot form an interim government to prepare for elections unless he has Israeli assurances that elections are also held in east Jerusalem.

Mashaal also faces internal opposition from Hamas leaders in Gaza who are reluctant to hand over authority to Abbas, who would serve as the prime minister of any interim government.