Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Contributed by Lucia
"Jerusalem - Ma'an - The political advisor to the Palestinian prime minister, Dr Ahmad Yousef, has confirmed that Prime Minister Haniyeh will be attending the forthcoming Arab summit on 28 March in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Speaking to 'Al-Quds' newspaper, Yousef said that the statement of the new government, which is to be presented to the Palestinian Legislative Council, will comply partially with some of the demands of the Quartet.
The Quartet of Middle East negotiators (EU, UN, USA and Russia) has stipulated that the Palestinian government recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and accept the previous peace agreements, in order to be recognized politically and economically.
Yousef added that the names of the Hamas ministers will be announced soon.
In the interview, published on Tuesday, Yousef said that the Hamas ministers will not be PLC members. He added that some of the new ministers were in Haniyeh's first government and others are new.
He asserted that the new government, which will be supported by the Arab countries, will call on the world and the European Union to stop blaming the Palestinians for the delay in reaching a political settlement. Yousef stressed that it is not right to impose more conditions on the Palestinians as the Israelis should also comply with their commitments.
Regarding the ministry of the interior and other ministerial portfolios, Yousef said that Hamas submitted many names but President Abbas did not agree to them. He added that other names will be presented. He also confirmed that Ziyad Abu Amr will be the minister of foreign affairs and that Salam Fayyad will be the minister of finance.
Yousef also expressed his belief that Abbas will accompany Haniyeh to the Arab summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the end of the month.
When asked about his forthcoming Arab tour, Yousef said that it is aimed at explaining the Mecca deal to the countries he is going to visit and to urge them to lift the siege, in addition to other issues. He said that amongst the countries he intends to visit are Algeria, Syria, Turkey and Switzerland.
Yousef also spoke about Egypt's important role in the region. He said that Haniyeh will embark on an overseas tour following the announcement of the new government, and he will start in Egypt. He will then visit some other Arab and foreign countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and other Arab countries.
As for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yousef told Al-Quds newspaper that the relationship with Saudi Arabia is a strategic one, and this can also be said about Iran, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. "
Keep it up Yousef down that slippery slope once traveled by Arafat. Your "partial" compliance with the demands of the Quartet is the same as being "partially" pregnant; who are you fooling? In no time you have managed to make Hamas as rotten as Fatah; congratulations!