DAMASCUS, Syria — Hamas' exiled leader Khaled Mashaal said Tuesday the upcoming US-backed direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are illegitimate and the result of coercion by Washington.
"These negotiations are taking place by force of coercion and with an American summons," Mashaal told reporters in Damascus, Syria.
He said the talks are "illegitimate and do not commit our people to anything."
Addressing the officials of Abbas' movement, he said: "Wake up. Do not allow for these adventures and sins to take place under your name."
Mashaal called Mubarak and Abdullah not to take part in the talks, saying the negotiations could have "catastrophic results" for the region.