Friday, September 15, 2006

U.S.: Do what we say or Starve

Agence France Presse
14 September 2006

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States urged its European
allies not to rush into a decision to lift restrictions on
aid to the Palestinians following the proposed creation of
a national unity government involving Palestinian
moderates and the radical Hamas movement.

French reconsidering starvation tactics

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy met with
Abbas on Thursday in the West Bank town of Ramallah and
later suggested it was time to reevaluate the Quartet

"The formation of a Palestinian government of national
unity which takes into account the aims of the
international community would constitute a major
development," he said.

"If it is confirmed, it should lead to a re-examination of
the policies of the international community toward the
Palestinian government in terms of aid and contacts," he

But US still adamant

US officials were less upbeat on the likelihood that a
government involving Hamas would meet international
demands to renounce terrorism, accept Israel's right to
exist and abide by past peace agreements.

A senior official on Thursday urged the Europeans not to
break ranks and lift sanctions on the Palestinians before
the conditions are met.

"One of the reasons why you do actually have some hope
now, or just a glimmer of a possibility of a change within
the Palestinian political system vis-a-vis willingness to
meet those conditions is a unified front," he said.

"People have remained united on this issue, so our view,
obviously, is that now is not the time to change that," he
said on condition of anonymity.

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