Hamas Lauds Turkish FM for Munich Conference Boycott

Hamas Lauds Turkish FM  for Munich Conference BoycottHamas Lauds Turkish FM  for Munich Conference Boycott

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas on Saturday lauded a decision by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu not to attend the 51st Munich Security Conference due to Israeli participation in a conference session on the Middle East.

“We applaud [Turkish] Foreign Minister Cavusoglu’s decision to pull out of the Munich Security Conference due to the participation of Israeli officials,” Hamas said in a statement, World Bulletin wrote.

“This move exemplifies Turkey’s role in standing by the Palestinian people and their plight,” it added.

On Friday, Cavusoglu decided not to attend the Munich conference, citing the participation of Israeli officials.

“We have decided not to participate in the Munich Security Conference because they [conference organizers] have subsequently invited Israeli representatives to the Middle East session,” Cavusoglu said at a press conference.

Israel and Turkey were once political allies in the Middle East, but their relations began to sour in 2008 when Israel began a major military operation in Gaza while Turkey was trying to achieve a reconciliation between Israel and Syria.

The strains became much worse in 2010, after a flotilla of ships led by a Turkish aid organization tried to transport supplies to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade. Israeli commandos raided the flotilla in international waters, and 10 Turkish citizens and an American citizen of Turkish descent were killed, inflaming anti-Israeli sentiment in the country.

Some progress was made in repairing ties when Israel apologized for the raid in 2013 and agreed to pay compensation. But the Turkish government has made the lifting of the blockade a precondition for resuming fully normal relations.