Hamas plays down U.S. envoy's coming visit to region

12:17, March 07, 2010      

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Islamic Hamas movement Saturday played down any impartial result of upcoming visit of U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell.

U.S. envoy's visit to the region is "a promotion of Israel's policy" and the talks "would not add any new for the Palestinian people," Hamas' parliamentary bloc said in a statement sent to the media.

Mitchell is scheduled to arrive on later Saturday in Israel, where he would meet Israeli officials before heading for the West Bank to hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The U.S. envoy seeks to resume indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) "in a flagrant bias to the Israeli conditions," said the statement.

It also said the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks "would strengthen Israel's conditions," since Israel still builds Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Mitchell's visit to the region comes a few days after the Arab League (AL) okayed the U.S. proposal to hold indirect negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The indirect talks, which the AL said should not exceed four months, are likely to begin later this month.

Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been suspended since the beginning of Israel's three-week military offensive against Hamas- run Gaza Strip in December, 2008.

Source: Xinhua
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