Top German MP: Merkel should condemn Turkey for hosting Hamas official

Ministry says federal government “surprised” about the presence of Khaled Mashaal in Turkey.

December 31, 2014 01:49
1 minute read.
Turkey's ruling AK Party

Senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashal shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a meeting of Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP) December 27. (photo credit: REUTERS)

BERLIN – The presence of top Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal at a conference of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party prompted German Green party politician Volker Beck on Tuesday to slam the Merkel administration for failing to criticize Turkey for hosting a Hamas representative.

Beck, a leading Green Party deputy in the Bundestag and human rights expert, initially tweeted to Merkel administration spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday: “@RegSprecher a Turkey that sees itself as a partner of Hamas is not a partner of D [Germany] or the EU.”

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Beck microblogged the tweet to his more than 53,000 followers.

In response to a Jerusalem Post query about Beck’s Tweet, a spokesman for the Merkel administration wrote on Tuesday, “The Federal government took notice of the corresponding media reports. The position of the Federal government to Hamas is sufficiently known.”

Beck told the Post, “This empty answer is shameful. If all of our positions were sufficiently known and these positions sufficed, then we would no longer need a diplomatic service. The Federal government must make it clear to the Turkish government that such actions are unacceptable and burden relations.”

The EU political leadership and the US list Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Beck has been one of the most prominent and vocal critics of Hamas. He called earlier this month on the European Union to retain its terrorist designation of Hamas after an EU court lifted the classification.

Hamas “carries out terror against Israel’s civilian population and represses and massacres Hamas opponents among the Palestinians,” he wrote.

The Merkel administration spokesman did not immediately respond to queries about Beck’s contention that it lacks clarity in its position toward the Hamas-Turkey alliance.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry told the Post, “Hamas is in the eyes of the federal government and the European union a terrorist organization.

Hamas does not fulfill the criteria of the Quartet [for commencing negotiations with the organization].

Hamas further denies Israel’s right to exist and is responsible for the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.”

The ministry said the federal government expressed “surprise” about the presence of Mashaal in Turkey.

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