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Hamas is undergoing a massive transformation and is "ready to change," the Palestinian Authority foreign minister said in an interview published in a French newspaper Monday.
Ziad Abu Amr, on a three-day visit to France, met Monday with French counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy and was holding talks Tuesday with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.
Speaking to the French daily Le Monde, Abu Amr said he hoped the visit would yield both financial aid and political support for the Palestinian's new coalition government.
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Abu Amr, an independent, said he thought Hamas was willing to change its ideology in order to remain a political player.
"I must admit I'm both surprised and impressed with the speed and the magnitude of Hamas's transformation," he is quoted as saying. He cited Hamas's willingness to accept a future Palestinian state contained within territory Israel occupied in the Six Day War as an example of the movement's ideological shift.
"One year ago, the movement would never have accepted a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders," he said. "When things move with such speed in one year, it makes me think the movement is ready to change."
He urged the international community to regard the Hamas-Fatah coalition government as a single entity.
"What counts is the coalition government, not any particular faction," he said.