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Egypt's Amr Moussa denies saying Hamas must recognise Israel

Insisting that Hamas accept the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative doesn't mean that it must also recognise Israel, says former Arab League head

Ahram Online, Monday 19 May 2014
Amr Moussa
Amr Moussa (Photo: Reuters)
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Former head of the Arab League Amr Moussa denied on Monday previous reports quoting him as saying, "Hamas must recognise Israel if the Palestinians are to move forward with their hopes in establishing their own state."

The quote, reported by AFP on 8 May during Moussa's visit to Washington, was denounced in a statement by the Egyptian politician's spokesman, Ahmed Kamel.

The statement described Moussa's positions on the Palestinian cause as clear and said that he didn't tolerate those who exploit the Palestinian cause in their writings.

In the AFP report, Moussa reportedly said that "Hamas should declare its acceptance of the Arab initiative of 2002, which is the map of normalisation and recognition of the state of Israel together with the establishing of the Palestinian state and the withdrawal from the occupied territory."

However, Moussa's statement on Monday clarified that some of the signatories to the 2002 initiative do not recognise Israel and that there's no association between the two.

The spokesman also stated that Moussa reiterates his calls for Hamas to accept the 2002 Arab initiative, as Arab states and institutions have done.

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was launched by Saudi Arabia and backed by the Arab League.

The initiative states that Arab states should forge full diplomatic relations with Israel in return for a withdrawal from land it occupied during the 1967 Six Day War or mutually-agreed upon land swaps. 

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