Egypt pulls embassy out of Gaza Strip

Group of diplomats already in Ramallah; ambassador due to arrive in coming days.

By
June 19, 2007 19:27
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In a stark sign of its rejection of Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip, Egypt announced it was moving its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank, headquarters of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, a foreign ministry statement said Tuesday. A group of Egyptian diplomats have already left for the West Bank town of Ramallah, the statement said, ending a 15-year presence in Gaza. The Egyptian ambassador is due to arrive in Ramallah in the coming days, it added. After Gaza's takeover by Hamas gunmen on Thursday, Abbas dismantled his Fatah party's coalition government with Hamas and installed a new emergency Cabinet. Hamas has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the new government, and insists the old government remains in place. Egypt, the regional powerhouse, withdrew its mediators from Gaza on Friday, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Saturday his country opposed any attempt by Hamas to set up a separate government in the Gaza Strip after its military takeover of the territory.


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