Haniyeh urges France to aid Palestinians

In letter to Sarkozy, Hamas leader welcomes int'l peacekeeping force in Palestinian territories.

Haniyeh  224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Haniyeh 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday called on France to provide assistance to the Palestinians, saying he welcomed "all international efforts" aimed at enhancing security in the region, AFP reported. In a letter to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Haniyeh said the Gaza government is "prepared to cooperate with all international efforts to establish security and stability in the region." According to AFP, the Hamas leader praised Sarkozy's call for an international peacekeeping force in the Palestinian territories, made at an international donors conference in Paris last month. Haniyeh said Sarkozy had proposed some "positive and encouraging initiatives" at the conference. "We followed your speech at the recent Paris conference in which we found many positive and encouraging initiatives aimed at ending the occupation and restoring the legal rights of the Palestinian people and ending their suffering," wrote Haniyeh. He also said he would accept French mediation in resolving the Hamas-Fatah feud. However, Haniyeh blasted the revived peace talks between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.