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Tuesday May 25, 2010 9:08 AM (EST+7)
Hamas leader charges Washington with stymieing Palestinian reconciliation

Read more: Palestinian reconciliation, Fateh-Hamas conflict, Hamas-Fateh conflict, Khaled Meshaal, Hamas, Fateh, US policy, US foreign policy

RAMALLAH, May 25 (JMCC) - Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has accused the Obama administration of blocking Palestinian reconciliation talks between his faction and Fateh.

In a wide-ranging discussion with journalists in Syria, where he lives in exile, Mr Meshaal accused Washington of taking a dangerous shortcut, focusing on an empty peace process while blocking attempts to patch-up relations between bitterly divided Palestinian factions.

Without an agreement between Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, and Fatah, which controls the West Bank, any peace talks would ultimately fail, Mr Meshaal warned. But hopes of finding common ground between the two parties had been blocked by the United States, he said, which favored negotiating solely with the more moderate Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas.

“America wants the peace process speeded up because they have another agenda [with Iran] and they want to be able to claim a success in the Middle East,” he said. “Because of that, reconciliation is not a priority. In fact, it’s not even on the table for discussion.”

The Hamas leader claimed Washington had “vetoed” reconciliation because his movement would not accept preconditions set out by the so-called Quartet for Middle East peace. Made up of the US, European Union, Russia and the United Nations, the Quartet has insisted that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce terrorism before being allowed to take part in internationally sponsored peace talks.

Read the story at The National...






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