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Iranian invitation splits Palestinians - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister says President Mahmoud Abbas will not participate at the summit of non-aligned nations in Iran at the end of the month if Hamas also attends.

Riad Malki said Saturday the Palestinian Authority is seeking clarifications from Iran after Hamas announced it had been invited to the August summit and that Hamas’ prime minister Ismail Haniyeh would attend.

Malki said Abbas will not attend if Hamas is taking part.

Abbas’ secular, Western-backed Fatah party and the militant Islamic Hamas are bitter rivals. Violence between the two sides in 2007 left the Palestinians divided with Hamas ruling Gaza and Fatah governing the West Bank. Repeated attempts for reconciliation have failed.

Iran is a major supporter of Hamas.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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