Hamas opens door to talks with Blair

A spokesman for the Palestinian Hamas party said Monday the group would now accept talks with new envoy Tony Blair but ruled out talks with Israel.

Hamas opens door to talks with Blair
A spokesman for the Palestinian Hamas party said Monday the group would now accept talks with new envoy Tony Blair but ruled out talks with Israel.

The party expressed outrage late last month when Blair, the former prime minister of Britain, was named special Middle East envoy by the so-called Quartet of negotiators -- the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The opposition softened last week when Hamas warned Blair he had better not ignore or marginalize its position.

Monday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri opened the door to talks.

"We won't say no to anyone, including Tony Blair," Zuhri told The Times. "We are willing to maintain ties with anyone as long as it isn't the occupier."

Blair arrived Monday for a series of meetings in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayad.

Blair was scheduled for dinner in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Post said.

UPI

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Temmuz 2007, 19:22
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