Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Turkey on Sunday as part of a tour abroad, his first since assuming power in May 2017.
Haniyeh heads a large delegation including the deputy chief of the Hamas politburo, Saleh Arouri, head of Hamas Diaspora Office Maher Salah and several members of the politburo Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hossam Badran, Nizar Awad Allah and Khalil al-Hayya.
A Hamas source said Haniyeh’s tour might last for several months.
The Hamas chief is further expected to visit Malaysia, Russia, Qatar, Lebanon, Mauritania and Kuwait.
He will attend the Dec. 18-21 Kuala Lumpur summit scheduled to take place as part of the Islamic meeting held between the leaders of Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Qatar to discuss sustainable development and result-oriented policy solutions.
A Palestinian source told Anadolu Agency on Saturday that Haniyeh had obtained permission from Egyptian authorities during his recent visit to Cairo to carry out the tour.
The Hamas leader visited Egypt this year but was not allowed to travel abroad. Haniyeh had to return to the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians in Gaza use Cairo International Airport to travel.
It is still unclear whether Haniyeh will visit Iran during his trip.