Hamas urges Jordan, Egypt to boycott Mideast talks launch



DAMASCUS- Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal urged the Egyptian and Jordanian leaders on Tuesday to boycott the resumption early next month of direct Israeli-Palestinian talks to be hosted by Washington.
"I appeal to President Hosni Mubarak (of Egypt) and (Jordan's) King Abdullah II not to back these negotiations which are rejected by the Palestinians," Meshaal said in Damascus where he lives in exile.



Mubarak and the Jordanian monarch have been invited by the United States to join a summit in Washington on September 2 during which Israel and the Palestinians are due to resume direct peace talks after a 20-month hiatus.
"The results of these negotiations will be catastrophic for the interests and the security of Jordan and Egypt," and are aimed at "liquidating" the Palestinian cause, Meshaal said in a speech.
The political leader of the Islamist group that rules in the Gaza Strip insisted that the talks are only "the fruit of an agreement" between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He added that "the Palestinian people will not feel bound by the outcome of these negotiations because the Palestinian negotiators renounced their demands" that Israel freeze settlement building in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.
Hamas formally rejected Washington's call for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks to resume next month, immediately after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Friday announced the September 2 summit.
"Hamas rejects the American call for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said at the time.
"This invitation is a new attempt to fool the Palestinian people after the Annapolis experience, during which we were promised a Palestinian state within a year, but many years have passed and we are still at square one."
A relaunch of negotiations amid much fanfare at Annapolis in Maryland in November 2007 had produced no visible results by the time the talks collapsed when Israel launched its devastating 22-day military offensive on the Gaza Strip just over a year later.
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Wednesday, August 25th 2010
AFP
           


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