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Hamas

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take of the Hamas charter in assessing Hamas's suitability as a partner for peace in the middle east; what recent representations he has received on the matter; and if he will make a statement. (150948)

There are parts of the Hamas charter which are clearly unacceptable to the UK. I have made clear we will engage with those who are committed to a two-state solution through peaceful negotiations.

We have received no recent representations on the charter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent instructions he has given to (a) officials and (b) his diplomatic representatives on contacts with Hamas in (i) the west bank and (ii) Gaza; and if he will make a statement. (150949)

Our Consul-General in Jerusalem met Ismail Haniya (former Hamas Prime Minister) and Ghazi Hamad (Hamas spokesperson) to discuss the Alan Johnston kidnapping. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have also held meetings with Ghazi Hamad in London to discuss the same consular case. No other issues were discussed.