Er­do­gan meets Ha­mas chief amid Is­rael deal re­ports

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

raid on twelve Chi­nese fish­ing ves­sels work­ing in the la­goon, dis­turb­ing and ha­rass­ing their op­er­a­tions, and even forcibly board­ing one ves­sel and ar­rest­ing the fish­er­men. The ar­rested Chi­nese fish­er­men were stripped to the waist and ex­posed to the scorch­ing sun on the deck. China was thus forced to take coun­ter­mea­sures. Both sides en­gaged in a tense stand­off till June 3, when all the Philip­pine ships had left the la­goon at the is­land. To pre­vent fur­ther moves by the Philip­pines, China sent marine sur­veil­lance ship for long-term de­ploy­ment in the waters sur­round­ing Huangyan Is­land, put­ting the Is­land under its con­trol.

On Jan­uary 22, 2013, the Philip­pines ini­ti­ated an ar­bi­tral pro­ceed­ings against China at the In­ter­na­tional Tri­bunal for the Law of the Sea. Shortly af­ter this an­nounce­ment, China’s For­eign Min­istry made mul­ti­ple of­fi­cial re­sponses: “The Philip­pines and the Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal have abused rel­e­vant pro­ce­dures and forced ahead with the ar­bi­tra­tion, dis­re­gard­ing the fact that the sub­ject mat­ter of the ar­bi­tra­tion in­volves ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty and mar­itime de­lim­i­ta­tion and re­lated mat­ters, de­lib­er­ately evad­ing the dec­la­ra­tion on op­tional ex­cep­tions made by China in 2006 under Ar­ti­cle 298 of the UN Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea”, stat­ing “China does not ac­cept the ar­bi­tra­tion ini­ti­ated by the Philip­pines” and there­fore “will not par­tic­i­pate in the pro­ceed­ings”.

Ob­vi­ously, China dis­agrees with the Philip­pines which ap­plied for ar­bi­tra­tion on ac­count that its con­sul­ta­tions and ne­go­ti­a­tions with China reached an im­passe. The fact is that ever since the Huangyan In­ci­dent, the Philip­pines re­fused to have any se­ri­ous di­a­logue with China, let alone ne­go­ti­a­tions, nor did they con­sult the other DOC par­ties. ANKARA—Turk­ish Presi- dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan on Satur­day the leader of rad­i­cal Pales­tinian group Ha­mas for un­sched­uled talks fol­low­ing re­ports Ankara was close to agree­ing a deal on nor­mal­iz­ing ties with Is­rael.

Er­do­gan re­ceived the Doha-based Ha­mas leader Khaled Me­shaal, whose group rules the Gaza Strip, at the Ot­toman-era Yildiz Palace in Is­tan­bul, the of­fi­cial Anadolu Agency re­ported, quot­ing pres­i­den­tial sources.

Turk­ish press re­ports have said Is­rael and Turkey could hold fi­nal talks on nor­mal­iz­ing ties on Sun­day but this had yet to be con­firmed.

Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu said on Thurs­day there was a “large pos­si­bil­ity” the ne­go­ti­a­tions would take place by the end of this month.—Agen­cies

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