Photo: AFP
Al-Zahar – ready to discuss plan
Photo: AFP

Hamas to 'discuss Arab peace plan'

Al-Zahar says Hamas willing to discuss Arab plan, but notes Israel has not yet accepted it

Arab officials on Saturday urged the foreign minister of the Hamas-led Palestinian government to consider an Arab plan to end the conflict with Israel that calls for exchanging land for peace.


Mahmoud Zahar said he would discuss the initiative with the others in the government but pointed out that Israel had not yet accepted the deal.


"I will convey all that I heard to every decision-maker and make a clear picture about the initiative. But the problem is: does the other party accept it?" Zahar told reporters after a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and other Arab envoys.


At a summit in Sudan last month, the Arab leaders said a 2002 peace-for-land initiative is the Arab world's only option for ending the conflict with Israel, suggesting that a Hamas government should accept the plan.


Israel has never committed itself to the initiative. Hesham Youssef, Moussa's chief of staff, said Moussa and Arab diplomats "emphasized that the Arab peace initiative is the essence of the Arab position. No one can stay out of this position."


Zahar arrived here Friday in the first leg of a regional tour that will take him later to Saudi Arabia and several Gulf nations.


Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit has said he has turned down a meeting request by Zahar due to scheduling problems, a diplomatic snub that shows Egypt is enforcing the regional and international isolation of Hamas.


פרסום ראשון: 04.15.06, 20:03
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