Fayyad: Iranian invitation to Hamas 'undermines unity'

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad protests Iran inviting Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh to the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, saying it undermines PLO legitimacy as "sole representatives of Palestinian people."

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 370 (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 370
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned Iran’s Friday invitation to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit due to be held in Tehran on Sunday, and said the move was “against Palestinian national unity,” Maan News Agency reported Saturday.
Fayyad told Maan that the invitation would undermine the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, which he called a central Palestinian achievements, and would make public the rift between "our people and the national movement."
The statement also referred to the movements' opposing objectives regarding Israel, diplomacy and the national struggle.
However, Hamas Foreign Minister Mohammed Awad called for unity in a statement to Maan saying, "we must unify efforts instead of (making) media announcements that call for division."
The NAM summit has been at the center of diplomatic controversy in recent weeks, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telling UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stay away from the event. “Mr. Secretary-General, your place is not in Tehran,” he said in a telephone conversation with the UN chief earlier in the month.
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Earlier this month, Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsy announced that he, too, would attend the summit, marking the first such visit by an Egyptian head of state since the 1979 Islamic revolution and Egypt's recognition of Israel. At the 16th summit meeting of NAM leaders, which will be held August 26-31, Iran will take over the chairmanship of the organization for the next three years from Egypt.
Israel has redoubled its efforts to convince members of the international community not to attend the conference, saying the attendance confers legitimacy on Tehran's regime. Indeed, Iran is already trumpeting the meeting as a sign that the country is not isolated.