CAIRO (AFP) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on the United States Thursday to change its position towards the Palestinians and recognise the “new realities” after Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government.
“I think America has no alternative but to accommodate itself to the new Palestinian and Arab facts,” he told reporters in Cairo after talks with Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa.
“There is a change in the European position,” he said.
“There is a policy of waiting and seeing and we encourage the Quartet and even the American administration to change its position and realise that there is a new reality after the Mecca agreement.”
Meshaal called the February 9 unity deal between Fatah and Hamas a “message of peace to the region” and said Palestinian factions as well as Arab countries were now presenting a united front.
It “gave us the environment in which the Palestinian forces could work together,” he added. “It is an important step, after which there must be many more steps to realise the Palestinian national project.”
Meshaal and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas are visiting countries to drum up support for the accord and attempt to lift the aid blockade in place since Hamas came to power a year ago.
The Quartet of key diplomatic players — the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia — has adopted a “wait and see” attitude towards the upcoming national unity government.
While Russia has urged more backing for the Palestinians, Washington has reiterated its insistence on Hamas’ recognition of Israel’s right to exist.
An embargo imposed on the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006 has exacerbated widespread economic hardship for the Palestinians and there is growing unease in Europe over the measures.