Photo: Reuters

Erekat meets with Iranian foreign minister for first time

Senior negotiator met Minister Mottaki in Sinai last week to discuss internal Palestinian conflict, reconciliation efforts. But Abbas associate stresses PA's position on Iran hasn't changed

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat met with Iran's foreign minister in Egypt three days ago in the first such encounter, a senior Palestinian official told AFP on Sunday.


"Saeb Erakat met with Manouchehr Mottaki in Sharm el-Sheikh three days ago," the official said on condition of anonymity.


It marked the first such meeting since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, he added.


"They discussed the internal Palestinians situation and the need for successful negotiations between Hamas and Fatah," he said.


The two men also discussed "the need for a balance between Fatah and Hamas, the need for support of dialogue (between the two groups)... regional conditions and how to strike a balance in support between Hamas and Fatah," he added.


'Iran policy hasn't changed'  

A senior associate of President Mahmoud Abbas told Ynet that the meeting was meant primarily at guaranteeing Iran will not undermine the internal Palestinian reconciliation efforts and trying to have the Islamic Republic use its influence on Hamas and Islamic Jihad in order to advance the dialogue.


Tehran has supported Hamas for years, through financing and training terror activists.


Abbas' associate said that the PA has not, and will not, change it position regarding Iran as long as the country does not change its policy.


"We have experienced negative conduct on Iran's part in everything related to the situation in the Gaza Strip and the internal Palestinian conflict, and as long as there's no change in this position, the PA has no intention of discussing upgrading its ties with Iran, despite the desire to maintain good relations with all countries in the region," he stated.


פרסום ראשון: 07.19.09, 16:57
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