Iran and Saudi Arabia aren’t exactly friendly these days, so it stood out when Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal visited the Saudis last July, and The Jerusalem Post is claiming that Hamas may be looking to shift Middle East allies. Well, half of Hamas anyway. The Jerusalem Post reported that the political wing of Hamas is looking around for friends, but the military wing is getting closer to Iran.
And that’s not the only interesting developments for Hamas. This week, Meshaal made another trip, this time to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Today’s Zaman reported that the topic of conversation was to be Palestinian internal unity issues and other Middle East matters.
The Daily Hurriyet, in their report of the meeting, linked it to Meshaal’s trip to Saudi Arabia as part of a group of regional discussions. Meshaal also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently in Doha, Qatar.
Meshaal’s visit to Turkey comes as the US is complimenting Turkey over the latter’s belated increase in helping the US-led coalition to fight ISIS (ISIL). The US considers Hamas a terrorist organization, which puts it in the same category as ISIS, but a US spokesman found positive things to say about Turkey on Thursday in the midst of controversy.
Turkey has been told to hold back on independent air strikes on ISIS until they are “fully integrated in coalition operations,” spokesman John Kirby said in comments released by the State Department. Despite that, and questions about Turkey’s bombing of a Kurdish group, Kirby found ways to speak well of Turkey.
Said Kirby of Turkey’s coalition involvement, “It doesn’t mean that in any bilateral discussion you have with them—a coalition member—that you’re going to necessarily agree on everything. But we’ve got a good, strong relationship with Turkey. They are cooperating. They’ve now allowed us use of these air bases to continue to go after ISIL and we’re grateful for that.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 13, 2015)