• search

Arab ministers say respect Palestinian Hamas choice

Written by: Staff
|

CAIRO, Mar 5 (Reuters) Arab foreign ministers meeting ahead of a summit later this month called on the international community to respect the Palestinian people's choice in electing Islamist militant group Hamas to lead them.

The United States and Israel have been trying to isolate the group since its landslide victory in the January 25 Palestinian parliamentary elections, demanding it recognise Israel and renounce violence.

''The ministers called on the international community, and the Quartet in particular, to respect the will of the Palestinian people ... (to respect) their freedom to choose their leadership in a democratic way,'' an Arab League official said.

Hamas leaders, in Russia for their first visit to a major foreign power, rejected yesterday Russian appeals to recognise Israel or disband the group's armed wing, which has carried out some 60 suicide bombings against Israelis during an uprising that began in 2000.

The United States and European Union, which brand Hamas a terrorist organisation, have said that a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority would risk losing crucial foreign aid unless the group disarmed and recognised Israel.

Russia, the United States, the United Nations and European Union together form the ''Quartet'' of West Asia peace mediators.

The Arab ministers also called on the world to ''desist from taking prejudiced positions and imposing biased conditions when dealing with the elected leadership.'' Their meeting came ahead of an Arab summit in Sudan on March 28.

Officials from Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction in its charter, have said they will not compromise their principles for aid, saying alternative funding could come from Arab and Islamic countries.

Hamas says recognising Israel would damage Palestinian interests and says Israeli military action justifies maintaining an armed Hamas wing. Israel says its military action protects its citizens.

REUTERS DH RAI0434

For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more