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Hamas ready to hold talks with Obama

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-08

The leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip said he is ready and willing to hold talks with US president-elect Barack Obama. The Islamist movement is listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU, USA and Israel.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, expressed willingness on Thursday to hold talks with US president-elect Barack Obama even though Washington considers the Islamist movement a terror group.
   
"We are ready to hold a serious dialogue with the new US president," said Ismail Haniya, who heads the Hamas government in the Palestinian territory.
   
"We hope the new US president will learn from the mistakes of the previous administration and give up the policy of bias towards Israel," he told journalists during a visit to a Gaza hospital.
   
The European Union, Israel and the United States list Hamas as a terrorist ogranisation. The Islamist movement seized power violently in Gaza in June 2007 after ousting forces loyal to secular Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
   
Obama voiced support for Israel's refusal to negotiate directly with Hamas during a visit to the Jewish state in July.
 

Date created : 2008-11-06

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