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WSJ Report: Turkey Urges Hamas to Recognize Israel

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul says Hamas needs to recognize Israel's right to exist, reports the Wall Street Journal.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 5/22/2011, 12:16 PM / Last Update: 5/22/2011, 12:20 PM

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul says he agrees with U.S. President Barack Obama that the Palestinian Authority must resolve the issue of how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist entity that is committed to its destruction and refuses to acknowledge its right to exist.

Hamas must recognize the State of Israel, Gul told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Saturday. And, he added, he has already done what he can to drive the point home: “I already advised them,” he said, to acknowledge Israel's right to exist.

Gul had apparently already had a similar conversation with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal in 2006, telling him “you have to be rational” about recognizing the Jewish State.

The Turkish president added that he believes Hamas is ready to recognize Israel – along the 1949 Armistice lines – but thinks that should occur along with Israeli recognition of a new PA country. 

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the other hand,  has maintained that Hamas is not a terrorist entity at all. Erdogan told the Al Qassam website in January that Hamas is "a political party and an organization."