Hamas has long way to go, says German FM Steinmeier

26th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 January 2006, BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday gave a wary response to the upset election victory of the radical Islamic Hamas movement in Palestinian legislative elections.

26 January 2006

BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday gave a wary response to the upset election victory of the radical Islamic Hamas movement in Palestinian legislative elections.

Steinmeier, in a Bavarian Radio interview, said Berlin could imagine different groups serving in the Palestinian government.

But there were at least two vital conditions which Germany believed had to first be met by Hamas, he said.

"Those taking part in government must swear off the use of violence," said Steinmeier.

The second condition was recognising Israel's right to exist, he said.

"This appears to still be a long way off for Hamas," said Steinmeier as quoted by Bavarian Radio.

Germany's chief diplomat said European Union foreign ministers would issue a joint statement on the Palestinian elections later Thursday.

Palestinian President Mahmmoud Abbas will ask Hamas to form a new government after its upset victory in Wednesday's legislative elections, former negotiations affairs minister Saeb Erekat said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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