zaterdag 24 januari 2009

Frankrijk zwakt eisen voor praten met Hamas af

Er is een onmiskenbare trend richting legitimatie van Hamas, zonder dat deze terroristische organisatie ook maar een iota gematigder is geworden. Alles wat Hamas doet - een coup plegen, raketten afschieten, staakt het vurens houden en verbreken, militair hard worden getroffen in reactie daarop, het lijkt allemaal aan haar legitimatie bij te dragen.
Last update - 20:09 20/01/2009
France may talk to Hamas even if group doesn't recognize Israel
By Assaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent
France signalled on Tuesday that it might be prepared to hold talks with Hamas even if the Palestinian Islamist group does not recognize Israel as Paris and other Western powers have demanded for years.
The "Quartet" of Middle East mediators - the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia - has said there can be no dealings with Hamas until it recognises Israel, renounces violence and accepts existing interim peace deals.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier, however, said that renouncing violence was the most important of those three conditions, an apparent shift in France's position.
"We repeat that the elements of the Quartet have been defined. There is obviously an absolutely major element, which is renouncing violence," Chevallier told a news conference.
When asked if France was scrapping the recognition of Israel as a precondition, he said: "I did not say that it was not a precondition" but repeated his phrase suggesting that renouncing violence was more important than the other conditions.
Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Fatah forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007 after winning an election the year before.
Israel and the West boycotted governments led by Hamas because the group rejects Israel's right to exist.
Abbas, whose Fatah faction controls the West Bank, has called for a Palestinian national unity government to pave the way for elections after Israel's 22-day military offensive in Gaza, which killed more than 1,300 people.
Chevallier said France was prepared to work with a Palestinian national unity government.
"We are ready to work with a national unity government that will respect the principles of the peace process and commit itself to negotiations with Israel to obtain the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security," Chevallier said.
His comments followed remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which Ban said the United Nations could work with any united Palestinian government to rebuild the Gaza Strip.

Sarkozy to host global summit on Mideast peace
French President Nicholas Sarkozy plans to host in the coming months an international conference in Paris to advance stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the French daily Le Figaro reported Tuesday.
Sarkozy seeks to capitalize on the momentum created by the participation of European leaders at a summit Sunday in Sharm al-Sheikh summit on the recent hostilities in Gaza, according to Le Figaro.
The paper also states that Sarkozy convinced German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who had feared the cease-fire would not be kept, to attend the summit in Egypt.

The goal of the conference, the paper reported, is to reach a peace accord within a year, and it will be held a few weeks after a meeting of European foreign ministers in Egypt due to take place in February.
The form of the summit will reportedly be similar to that of the one the United States hosted in Annapolis in late 2007.
About 40 countries participated in the U.S. conference, including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Indonesia.

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