Turkey holding negotiations over civilians held by Hamas: senior Turkish official

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a negotiation process with Hamas seeking the release of Israeli hostages who were kidnapped by the Palestinian militant group, an official source told AFP on Wednesday.

“They are negotiating to secure the release of the hostages,” the source said, confirming a report by the private TV channel Haberturk.

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Dozens of people have been taken hostage during Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel.

The Turkish President, who has offered to mediate to restore peace, has been stepping up talks with his Middle Eastern counterparts.

Late Wednesday he spoke with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

It quoted Erdogan saying that on behalf of Turkey, “we are ready to do everything in our power”, including mediation and “fair arbitration” to end the conflict quickly.

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