Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Abuelghait, voiced hope yesterday that the international economic boycott imposed against the Hamas-led government would come to a halt with the installation of a new Palestinian unity government.
In a statement released by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry after separate meetings with Hamas’s political bureau chief, Khaled Mashal and the Japanese representative to Cairo, Abuelghait affirmed Cairo’s full support of the current Palestinian efforts to form a government that is capable of preserving the Palestinian national unity and complying with the international community.
Abuelghait believed that the Quartet meeting in Berlin Wednesday (United Nations, United States, European Union , Russia) reflected the international community’s willingness to deal with the likely Palestinian government to push the Palestinian-Israeli peace process forward.
Khaled Mashal believed that the international boycott imposed on the Palestinian people should come to and end, despite the U.S and Israeli opposition.
“The Makkah deal should lead to the lifting of the blockade,’ Mashal told reporters after talks with Foreign Minister Abuelghait. ‘There is no other option.’
Mashal’s meeting with Egyptian officials discussed the implications of the Makkah deal.
Egypt has been mediating a possible prosioner swap deal in which captured Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit , believed to be held by Hamas, would be released in return for the release by Israel of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who are being held without legitimate charges against them.
The Quartet and the Middle East promoting committee, held a meeting in Berlin Wedesday in which it reaffirmed demands that any Palestinian government should recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements as preconditions for lifting the economic embargo.
Palestinian efforts to form a unity government are underway after rival parties, Hamas and Fatah, agreed two weeks ago to end infighting and form a national unity government, jointly with other factions.
Despite agreement in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah, Hamas did not clearly commit itself to the Quartet’s demands but said it would respect previously signed agreements.