Merkel "angry" over Hamas minister visit
17 May 2006 , BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel is angry over the visit to Germany of a militant Hamas group cabinet minister despite a European Union boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government, a spokesman said Wednesday.
17 May 2006
BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel is angry over the visit to Germany of a militant Hamas group cabinet minister despite a European Union boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Minister for Refugees Atef Adwan arrived in Germany from Norway on a Schengen visa issued by Sweden. Such visas allow unrestricted travel within EU and other European countries who are signatories to the Schengen accord.
"Contacts to the Hamas government have been ruled out by the German government," said deputy spokesman Thomas Steg.
Steg described Adwan as "an undesired person" in Germany.
"The chancellor has expressed her anger over this incident," said Steg, who noted that Adwan had since left Germany.
Berlin would only consider contacts to Hamas if it recognized Israel, renounced violence and agreed to back all previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, Steg said.
Adwan's office in Gaza said the aim of the visit was to garner support and to end the siege imposed on the Palestinians after Hamas formed its government in March.
Adwan had been scheduled to meet with members of parliament while in the German capital, his office said.
Sweden granted Adwan a visa to attend a conference on refugees in the city of Malmo. Following a meeting with Swedish parliamentarians in Stockholm, he travelled to Norway.
The EU cut off financial aid to Hamas after its election victory in January, demanding the group renounce violence and recognize Israel, which it refuses to do.
Subject: German News