This paper describes a dual-arm teleoperation (master-slave) system which has been developed to explore the effect of haptics in robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RAMIS). This setup is capable of measuring forces in 7 degrees of freedom (DOF) and fully reflecting them to the operator through two 7-DOF haptic interfaces. An application of the test bed is in enabling the evaluation of the effect of replacing haptic feedback by other sensory cues such as visual representation of haptic information (sensory substitution). This paper discusses the design rationale, kinematic analysis and dynamic modeling of the robot manipulators, and the control system developed for the setup. Using the accurate model developed in this paper, a highly transparent haptics-enabled system can be achieved and used in robot-assisted telesurgery. Validation results obtained through experiments are presented and demonstrate the correctness and effectiveness of the developed models. The application of the setup for two RAMIS surgical tasks, a suture manipulation task and a tumor localization task, is described with different haptics modalities available through the developed haptics-enabled system for each application.