During a friendly visit to Anadolu Agency headquarters in Ankara Tuesday, Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey Faed Mustafa said that representatives of both Hamas and Fatah would meet in Qatar early next month with a view to kick-starting reconciliation efforts.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Metin Mutanoglu, Anadolu Agency deputy director-general and editor-in-chief, briefed Mustafa on the agency’s international operations.
- Palestinian reconciliation
As for the planned Palestinian meeting in Qatar, Mustafa explained: "Its first aim will be to establish a unity government to include representatives of all [Palestinian factions], including Hamas and Fatah."
The meeting’s second aim, he said, would be to "lay down a timeline for holding [Palestinian] presidential and legislative elections".
Mustafa went on to voice hope that reconciliation between the rival factions might be achieved with a view to forging a single Palestinian front able to confront ongoing Israeli violations.
"Israel exploits Palestinian divisions to build new [Jewish-only] settlements in the West Bank and maintain its blockade on the Gaza Strip," the ambassador said.
- Palestine, Syria
Mutanoglu, for his part, said Anadolu Agency would closely cover the activities of Palestine’s embassy in Ankara, adding that he viewed Palestine as a part of Turkey.
Anadolu Agency correspondents are sporadically injured while working in Palestine and other conflict zones, Mutanoglu went on to note, recalling Anadolu Agency reporter Salih Mahmud Leyla who recently lost her life in Syria.
Mutanoglu also stressed that Turkey had been expending efforts to maintain Syria’s territorial integrity and ensure democracy and freedom for the Syrian people.
"Unfortunately, the international community has failed," he said. "The passive stance of the international community, especially the U.S., has encouraged Russia to carry out egregious human rights violations in Syria."
Mustafa, meanwhile, noted that, while Palestinian refugees in Syria were not part of that country’s conflict, they had nevertheless been badly affected by the war.