Hamas says US-sponsored Mideast peace conference will not succeed

October 17, 2007 16:00

The peace conference called for by US President George W. Bush will not achieve results because the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators cannot discuss substantive issues, an exiled Hamas leader said Wednesday. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, told reporters that recent meetings between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were a "total failure," adding that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pressing them to come up with a common document to submit to the peace conference. Rice has been meeting this week with top Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian officials as part of preparations for the conference that will be held in November or December in Annapolis, Maryland. "Abbas cannot give the concessions wanted by Israel and Olmert cannot discuss any of the pending substantial issues. The conference will not come up with any tangible results," he said.

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