Turkey has denounced the US move to add Ismail Haniya to its list of international terrorists, saying that the move ignored realities on the ground and threatened peace and humanitarian initiatives.

In the State Department press release, the US also designated three other armed groups as being
In the State Department press release, the US also designated three other armed groups as being "terrorist groups": Harakat al-Sabireen - a Gaza-based armed group, as well as two Egypt-based groups - Liwaa al-Thawra, and Harakat Sawa'd Misr. (Reuters)

Turkey on Friday denounced the US decision to put the Palestinian Hamas leader on its terror blacklist, saying it hoped the move would not have a negative impact on Ankara's humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The US State Department on Wednesday also slapped sanctions on Ismail Haniya, who was named the head of Hamas in May 2017. Hamas has been on the US terror blacklist since 1997.

"We are concerned that this decision of the US administration, which disregards the realities on the ground, could undermine the Middle East peace process, including the efforts for intra-Palestinian peace and reconciliation," Hami Aksoy, the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

The move comes as Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, has reached a fragile reconciliation deal with Fatah, the movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


"We also hope that the decision will not have a negative impact on our country's humanitarian assistance and economic development activities towards Gaza."

Aksoy said the move overlooked the fact that Hamas is "an important reality of Palestinian political life".

Haniya is now on the US Treasury sanctions blacklist, which freezes any US-based assets he may have and bans any US person or company from doing business with him.

Haniya replaced Khaled Meshaal, who now lives in Doha in exile.

Washington's decision comes as ties between the Americans and Palestinians have worsened since US Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital last year.

Turkey's governing Justice and Development (AK) Party has made immense efforts to solve the Palestinian issue.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a fervent supporter of Palestinians, sought to lead condemnation by Muslims of Trump's Jerusalem plan late last year. At one point, he called a summit of Muslim nations in Istanbul in response to the move.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al Malki will visit Turkey on Friday and Saturday and hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies