Hamas warned Tony Blair on Saturday his credibility as the new international Mideast peace envoy will be damaged if he ignores the organization.
The former British prime minister was expected in Israel and the West Bank early next week in his maiden visit since his appointment as envoy of the diplomatic Quartet - the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.
"We warn the new envoy that any attempt to marginalize the Hamas movement will cost him his credibility," said Hamas Mahmoud Zahar, a former Palestinian foreign minister.
That policy won't change to accommodate Blair, Zahar said. "We are not ready to sit with anyone calling on us to abandon our national constants and to foreswear the aspirations of the Palestinian people," he said.
After his first meeting with Quartet leaders Thursday, Blair said he will need all the optimism he can muster to make headway in his new task, "but I am determined to try."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2007, 09:38