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Hamas Chief Urges Obama to Drop Preconditions for Dialogue | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat-In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Hamas politburo chief Khalid Mishal criticized the recent speech delivered by US President Barack Obama last Thursday in Cairo.

Mishal stated that the speech contained a new, intelligent language but that “it is not language that is important but the translation of this language into action on the ground.”

Mishal criticized the US President saying that the United States cancelled conditions for dealing with Syria and Iran but not for Hamas. He said, “Obama spoke about Hamas using a new language. We hope that that it will be translated into positions and policies on the ground and that the conditions that have been set for working with Hamas will be dropped. He says that he is turning over a new leaf with regards to the region and dialogue with the Iranians and Syrians without preconditions, so why is he setting conditions for Hamas?”

“We [Hamas] are facing a difficult time, nothing is easy, we will take our rights and we do not expect them from anybody and we will impose our views,” added Mishal.

Mishal referred to the fact that Obama did not use the word ‘terrorism’ to describe Palestinian resistance however he criticized Obama’s comparison of the situation of the Palestinians to that of the Afro-Americans in the United States and the situation in South Africa.

“In Palestine we are facing an occupation and occupation must be confronted with weapons according to all charters, conventions and international laws and this has been the case throughout history. As for the Afro-Americans in the United States, they fought for civil rights and there is a big difference between the two situations. His [Obama’s] comparison to the situation in South Africa is erroneous as they used armed resistance as well as political means there.”

Mishal showed enthusiasm regarding “cooperating with any international and regional efforts to reach a fair solution to end the Israeli occupation and to achieve national rights for the Palestinian people, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of Palestinian refugees to return, the removal of settlements and real sovereignty over territories, crossings and airspace.”