Friday, September 01, 2006

EU urged to make contact with Hamas / World / Middle East & Africa - EU urged to make contact with Hamas: "“Hamas is not the same party it was before the elections,” he said, referring to what he said were the group’s encouraging but insufficient steps to moderate its stance after it won control of the Palestinian Authority this year.

“We have to be able to talk to anyone who is relevant,” he added. “There are many ways of having contact...nobody will start with press conferences and photo opportunities.”

[Finland's] Mr Tuomioja is to chair an informal EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday that is intended to “update” the current international proposals for the Middle East, as well as giving the EU a greater role in the region.

Hamas remains on the EU’s official list of proscribed terrorist organisations and the 25-nation bloc has repeatedly declared it would only establish political contacts with the Islamist group if it honoured past agreements, ceased violence and recognised Israel."

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