France refuses entry visa to Palestinian minister

21st April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 21, 2006 (AFP) - France on Friday refused to give an entry visa to a minister in the Hamas government ruling the Palestinian territories, the foreign ministry said.

PARIS, April 21, 2006 (AFP) - France on Friday refused to give an entry visa to a minister in the Hamas government ruling the Palestinian territories, the foreign ministry said.

The request by Palestinian planning minister Samir Abu Eisheh for a visa to attend a Paris conference on European-Arab dialogue was rejected because of an EU suspension of political-level contacts with Hamas, the ministry said.

"This decision comes from the European position... that is to say the suspension of political contacts with the Palestinian government," ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.

Europe and the United States are pressuring the radical Islamic group to renounce violence and recognise Israel.

The European Union suspended direct aid to the Palestinian government on April 10.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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