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Monday, May 02, 2011

Change: Egypt urges Obama to back Fatah-Hamas 'state' and to 'persuade' Israel to do the same

My, my how things have changed with our southern neighbor.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby has called on the United States to accept the combined unilateral declaration of 'statehood' by Hamas and Fatah acting as the 'Palestinian Authority' and to 'persuade' Israel to do the same (Hat Tip: Lance K).
The statement marks yet another big shift in Egypt's foreign policy.

The new call marks a move away from Egypt's past compliance with the United States and Israel, which have strongly opposed the Palestinian authority's campaign to win backing for a unilateral declaration of statehood.

Mr Araby says Egypt now fully supports the Palestinian plan, and has urged the US to do the same.

He said the US should view a re-united Palestinian movement, including Hamas, as a positive development, and that it should persuade Israel to negotiate with it.

Both Israel and the US have insisted they will not deal with any side that includes Hamas, which they regard as a terrorist group.

Under President Hosni Mubarak Egypt used to take the same view, but the new government has moved quickly to distance itself from Israel, helping broker the Palestinian reconciliation deal last week.
The article goes on to speculate that Congress might be influenced to reduce Egypt's foreign aid as a result of statements like this one. I hope that someone in Congress is listening.

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