Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Palestinian Karzai Backs French Call for International Force


"Mahmud Abbas said Tuesday he supports a French proposal for an international force to reinforce the work of the Palestinian security services. "We are in favor of President (Nicolas) Sarkozy's idea and we are going to strive for it to become an international position," Abbas said, asked about the proposal made at Monday's international donor conference in Paris. "We accept it," Abbas said, while recalling that the Palestinian Authority had already accepted the principle of such a force in the past.

Sarkozy called Monday for an international force to deploy in the Palestinian territories, "when the time comes and when the conditions are right" to "lend its support to the Palestinian security services."

The Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas immediately rejected the proposal, saying it would amount to "blatant interference" in Palestinian affairs. Hamas charged that the French move was intended to help Israel in its "declared war" against the movement."

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