Photo: AFP
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
Photo: AFP

Hamas PM to visit Switzerland

Palestinian foreign minister says Ismail Haniyeh will visit Switzerland in May, gives no exact date

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, shunned by much of the West as a leader of Islamist Hamas, will be hosted by Switzerland next month, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Friday.


Bern did not join major Western powers in boycotting the Palestinian Authority after Hamas, which opposes co-existence with Israel, took power a year ago. The diplomatic embargo has eased since Hamas formed a unity government with the secular faction Fatah last month, though curbs remain on donor aid.


"Haniyeh's visit to Switzerland will take place in May," Palestinian Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr said in a statement. Swiss officials were not immediately available for comment.


Amr's announcement followed a visit by Amr and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah to Geneva on Thursday.


After those talks, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey told reporters that Bern would have a "continuing dialogue" with the Palestinians.


Swiss annual aid to the Palestinians currently amounts to 30 million Swiss francs ($24.88 million), some two-thirds of which goes for humanitarian work, she said.


פרסום ראשון: 04.27.07, 21:33
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