Turkish president tells Hamas to recognize Israels existence

Hamas should recognize Israel’s right to exist, the president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, told the Wall Street Journal.

Gul also called President Barack Obama’s call to create a Palestinian state on pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps “a very important step,” in an interview May 20 with Journal, a day after Obama’s major policy speech on the Mideast.

Gul told the newspaper that Obama “has a point” when he said last week that Israel should not be expected to negotiate with a group that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

He said he has pressed Hamas on the issue, including in a 2006 meeting with top Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Ankara. — jta