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Palestinians: Diplomatic Relations

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government’s policy is on holding discussions with elected Palestinian representatives in Gaza. (252125)

President Abbas is the elected leader of the Palestinian people. We work very closely with him and his Government.

We do not believe it is productive to talk to Hamas directly until it makes significant movement towards the Quartet principles of rejecting violence, accepting Israel’s right to exist and recognising previous agreements. The Arab League has mandated Egypt to communicate with Hamas. We are in regular contact with both the Arab League and Egypt. Turkey, Syria, Qatar and others are also speaking to Hamas.