By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Friday expressed concerns over the U.S. decision to add Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s name to its terrorist blacklist.
In a written statement, Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Hami Aksoy said Turkey is "concerned that this decision of the U.S. Administration, which disregards the realities on the ground, could undermine the Middle East Peace Process, including the efforts for intra-Palestinian peace and reconciliation."
"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.
"It is obvious that this decision, which overlooks the fact that Hamas is an important reality of Palestinian political life, cannot make any contribution to the just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
On Wednesday, the U.S. government dubbed Haniyeh a “specially designated global terrorist” and imposed a raft of sanctions against him.
On its website, the U.S. State Department said Haniyeh had “close links with Hamas' military wing and has been a proponent of armed struggle, including against civilians."
The U.S. Treasury Department, meanwhile, also added Haniyeh to its sanctions list, essentially freezing any U.S.-based assets he might have.
The designation also bans individuals and companies from engaging in financial transactions with the Hamas leader.
Haniyeh has been a vocal critic of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision late last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital -- a move that drew widespread condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.
Washington’s recent policy decisions, Haniyeh said after the U.S. move, had served to confirm that “the U.S. Administration can no longer be considered an honest broker… in the so-called peace process."
On Wednesday evening, Hamas slammed the U.S. decision to add Haniyeh’s name to the terror blacklist, saying the move had revealed the "depth" of Washington’s longstanding bias towards Israel.
“This decision reveals the depth of U.S. bias towards Israel, which has reached the level of a partnership in the aggression against our people,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told Anadolu Agency by phone.
The move, he added, “specifically targets the Palestinian resistance."