Haniyeh criticizes cool US response to his offer

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 28, 2006 14:58

 
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The incoming Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, on Tuesday criticized the United States for its cool response to Hamas's call for dialogue with the West. "Regrettably, the US administration is always hasty in making its decision and reaffirms its bias toward Israel and against the Palestinian people," Haniyeh told reporters at the Palestinian parliament. Haniyeh on Monday said his government would be ready to talk to international mediators about solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although he didn't explain how he plans to resolve disagreements with the international community, which insists Hamas renounce violence and recognize Israel, his comments marked the first time he has suggested the group is interested in negotiations. The US did not give an official reaction to the offer. But US Embassy spokesman Stewart Tuttle said the American position toward Hamas is unchanged. "As a matter of policy we don't deal with Hamas because it's a terrorist organization," he said. The Palestinian parliament was expected to approve Haniyeh's Cabinet on Tuesday.

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