Iran invites Haniyeh to NAM summit in Tehran

Move could spark protest from Abbas, who has said he would attend meeting only if he were sole Palestinian representative.

August 24, 2012 23:55
1 minute read.
Hamas PM Haniyeh and Ahmadinejad [file]

PM Haniyeh and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 390. (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has invited Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit set to take place in Tehran at the end of August, Haniyeh's office announced Friday according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

The invitation could spark protest from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was invited months ago and has said his attendance is contingent on being the only Palestinian representative at the summit.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told Ma'an that the invitation to Haniyeh did not necessarily intimate the Hamas leader's attendance.

The NAM summit has been at the center of diplomatic controversy in recent weeks, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Israel has redoubled its efforts to convince members of the international community not to attend the conference, saying the attendance confers legitimacy on Tehran's regime. Indeed, Iran is already trumpeting the meeting as a sign that the country is not isolated.

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