Zahar denies recognizing Israel's right to exist

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar denied on Wednesday that he agreed to recognize Israel's right to exist. In a letter written to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, he wrote that the Palestinians wished to live in peace and security with their neighbors, but claimed that he did not mention Israel. He also did not mention the concept of two states living side-by-side in peace, Israel Radio reported. UN officials expressed the hope that the letter represented the beginning of a Hamas compliance with international demands to recognize Israel.