Palestinian Foreign Minister: Government will never recognize Israel [Archives:2006/943/Front Page]

May 4 2006

By: Mohammed Bin Sallam
SANA'A, May 3 ) Hamas government will accept establishing the Palestinian state within the 1967 frontiers but it will never recognize Israel, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said during a Sana'a press conference last Monday before he left Yemen.

“We will agree on a Palestinian state within frontiers reached by 1967 accord on condition nobody tells us to recognize Israel, and we will not abandon Palestine despite international pressures,” he added.

The Palestinian Foreign Minister called on the Arab and Islamic countries not to respond to pressures by the U.S. and the European Union, confirming such pressures constitute a big problem to the Palestinian government. “The problem will exacerbate if we respond to U.S. and EU pressures,” he noted.

Al-Zahhar said his tour in the Arab region succeeded to resume good relations between the Palestinian government and Kuwait and Libya. Consequently both Kuwait and Libya pledged financial assistance to the Palestinian government. The latter pledged 55 million dollars in a monthly aid to Palestine plus admitting Palestinian students to its universities.

He mentioned there are many Arab countries announcing their strong adherence to back the Palestinian issue, expecting the popular assistance to be larger than the official one. Al-Zahhar denied information by the U.S. and Israel that his government is besieged.

The Palestinian official said his government makes contacts with most of the Arab and Islamic countries, as well as some western countries in an official way. “We received invitations for international conferences and if there is any siege on Palestine it is only imposed by the U.S. Israel and their allies,” he commented.

Al-Zahhar confirmed that Arabs and Muslims backed Hamas in the past as an organization and now they back it as an official government and authority. He indicated the Palestinians never forget those who support them, nor do they forget those standing against them.

With regard to the results of his visit to Yemen, Al-Zahhar said: “Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal approved 15 scholarships for Palestinian students to study medicine and 10 for other students to major in pharmacology in Yemeni universities, in addition to other scholarships in dentistry to help Palestinians improve the health level in their country.

During his meeting with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, Al-Zahhar said they have discussed all the issues presented to President Saleh when he met with him, the most important of which was supporting the Palestinian people to restore paths controlled by Israel for 3 months.

Al-Zahhar reached an agreement with Yemeni officials to maintain contacts and improve deliberations and cooperation in different areas. The Palestinian official met with Yemeni Parliament Speaker Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar and over 200 Yemeni personalities.