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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:04, May 18, 2006
Merkel "angry" over Hamas minister visit to Germany
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German Chancellor Merkel expressed her anger over the visit to Germany by a cabinet minister of Palestine's militant Hamas group as Germany rejects any contacts with Hamas, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Atef Adwan, Palestine's Minister for Refugees, arrived in Germany from Norway on a Schengen visa issued by Sweden. Such visas allow unrestricted travel within the European Union and other European countries that are signatories to the Schengen accord. "The chancellor has expressed her anger over this incident, " said deputy spokesman Thomas Steg, adding that Adwan was "an undesired person" in Germany.

Berlin would only consider contacts with Hamas unless it recognized Israel, gives up violence and agrees to back all previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, Steg said.

The European Union cut off financial aid to Hamas after it won the election in January and formed its government in March.

Adwan's office in Gaza said the aim of his visit is to garner support and revive the EU financial aid to Palestine.

The minister had been scheduled to meet members of the German parliament in Berlin after attending a conference on refugees in Sweden.

Source: Xinhua

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