Saudi King pays first visit to Spain for talks on Iraq

20th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 June 2007, MADRID - Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called on warring Hamas and Fatah to recommit to an accord sponsored by his kingdom to pave the way for the Palestinian unity government.

20 June 2007

MADRID - Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called on warring Hamas and Fatah to recommit to an accord sponsored by his kingdom to pave the way for the Palestinian unity government.

"We hope both parties can recommit themselves to the commitments of Mecca," Prince Saud al-Faisal said in Madrid, alluding to the accord reached in February in the holy Saudi city that led to the creation of a Palestinian unity government. That government collapsed last week when Hamas fighters seized control of Gaza.

He spoke after Saudi King Abdullah met with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero during a two-day visit to Madrid.

The prince said the Arab League is firmly behind moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and that Saudi Arabia had warned that the coalition would remain fragile unless Western aid to the Palestinians resumed.

He spoke as Egypt, in a sharp sign of its rejection of Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip, announced it was moving its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank, headquarters of Abbas.

The minister said the Palestinians could not have Gaza run by one faction and the West Bank by another.

"There should be no separation between the Palestinian areas," he said.

On the Iranian nuclear standoff, the prince said later in an interview with CNN that his country had assurances from Iran that Tehran was not seeking to build bombs.

He said it was not fair that countries in the West call for the Middle East to be a nuclear-free region but "turn a blind eye" to Israel's nuclear capacity.

"Why the exception?" the minister said.

"If we want to prevent proliferation, it must be in a systematic way," he said.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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