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Turkey, Israel Exchange Words after Hamas Visit to Ankara


A meeting this week between Turkey's foreign minister and a leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas has spurred an angry exchange between longtime allies Israel and Turkey.

Israel condemned the visit to Ankara by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. An Israeli government spokesman asked how Turkey would feel if Israel invited Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader whose Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) launched a deadly separatist rebellion in southeastern Turkey in 1984.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry Friday called Israel's statement "unfortunate," and said it had relayed its "discomfort and dissatisfaction" to Jerusalem.

After Hamas won Palestinian elections in January, Turkey said it hoped to mediate between Israel and Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction.

Russia is planning to host a Hamas delegation in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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