PA: Israel doesn’t deserve reward
Palestinian officials expressed disgruntlement regarding meeting between Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counterpart, which focused on possibility of establishing diplomatic relations between the countries. Senior Hamas member Khaled Mashal says, ‘even if Abbas gave the Pakistanis green light to hold the meeting – he barely represents himself’
Palestinian Authority officials have expressed their disgruntlement Thursday regarding the meeting between Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counterpart, which focused on the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations between the countries.
The Palestinians were not satisfied with clarifications presented by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who said his country would not recognize Israel as long as Israeli presence in the territories persists.
PA Minister of Information Nabil Shaath told Al-Jazeerah, “Israel has done nothing so a country such as Pakistan should reward it with a prize.”
'Political gain offered to Israel for nothing'
Shaath denied claims made by Pakistani officials according to which the PA was notified of the scheduled meeting in advance and received the PA’s approval.
“There is a difference between notifying us and the claim that we gave the meeting the green light,” he said.
“We cannot dictate Pakistan’s foreign policy, but we expect our friends and allies to demand that Israel give us our rights back in return.”
Senior Hamas member Khaled Mashal said in response to the meeting, “We staunchly condemn the meeting that took place while Israel continues to conquer our land and populate Jerusalem with Jews.”
“Even if the report whereby (PA Chairman) Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) gave the Pakistanis the green light to hold the meeting is true – he barely represents himself. I am certain Fatah and the entire Palestinian nation object to the meeting,” he said.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement saying, “This is political gain that was offered to Israel for nothing. Unfortunately, the Pakistani concessions regarding the country’s relations with Israel and the U.S. are taking place while Israel’s expansion policy continues at the expense of the Palestinian nation and the continued conquest of Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as at a time when refugees are prevented from exercising their right to return to their homes.”