ANKARA: Hamas’s Qatar-based chief Ismail Haniyeh has held a meeting with the Turkiye foreign minister, diplomatic sources said Sunday, in the first official contact between the two for more than three months.

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Haniyeh on Saturday in Turkiye, the sources said.

Hamas seized about 250 hostages when they launched unprecedented attacks in Israel on October 7 and the release of the remaining captives, along with the establishment of “a ceasefire as quickly as possible”, were the main topic of discussions, according to one of the sources.

Hamas chief says ‘open’ to one Palestinian govt for Gaza and West Bank

The source said that during the meeting, the two sides also discussed “increasing humanitarian aid… and a two-state solution for a permanent peace”.

Fidan and Haniyeh last had official contact in a phone call on October 16.

Its relentless bombardment and ground offensive have killed at least 24,927 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the territory.

Israel says around 132 hostages remain in Gaza, of whom at least 27 are believed to have been killed, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

‘Currently no chance’ of prisoner swap with Israel: Hamas official

Istanbul served as a base for Hamas political leaders before the October 7 attacks.

Turkiye asked the Hamas chiefs to leave after some were captured on video celebrating the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.

But Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has since turned into one of the Muslim world’s harshest critics of the scale of death and destruction happening in Gaza.

Gaza truce, hostages release: Netanyahu, Hamas chief indicate deal

Erdogan has compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler and accused the United States of sponsoring the “genocide” of Palestinians.


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