Gaza, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr. Ahmad Yusuf, political adviser to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, has called on the US administration to stop interfering in Palestinian internal affairs.
Commenting on leaks confirming that Washington informed envoys of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas that it would not deal with a government headed by Haniyeh, Yusuf stated to Asharq al-Awsat that the American conduct expresses “unacceptable arrogance and blustering and represents a gross inconsistency with President George Bush’s claims about his administration’s commitment to achieve democracy in the region.” He then accused the Bush administration of selectivity in dealing with the region’s issues and said such conduct will not lead to this administration’s success in achieving its aims. He added that, “The Americans have become so stupid that they are dealing with us as if we are an American state. This is unacceptable. We refuse to act except according the Palestinian people’s national interest and will not be at the Americans’ mercy.” He asked: “How can Bush claim to be keen about democracy and the peoples’ right to govern themselves and then open fire on democratically elected governments?” He stressed that the United States is acting according to the Israeli interests.
The Palestinian official expects the present administration to fail to achieve any of its foreign aims, in particular its ideas about solving the Arab-Israeli conflict “because of the mentality of arrogance and barbarism that is based on dealing with the peoples of the Arab world as a flock of sheep.” He also expects President Mahmud Abbas to reject the American demands and to say that it was Hamas which won the elections and the one to choose whoever it wants to be prime minister and that no one has the right to interfere and bypass the Palestinian street’s free will.
Regarding the efforts to form a national unity government, Yusuf said that the aim of the national dialogue sessions which started the day before yesterday is to solve the drafting problems of the letter of assignment, especially the disagreement over the words “compliance” with or “respect” of the agreements signed with Israel. He added that a group of legal experts in addition to representatives of Fatah and Hamas are at present drawing up versions that resolve the disagreement. He pointed out that Hamas and Fatah have agreed on the criteria that the interior minister should have, most noticeably that he should be a national figure not tainted by corruption and acceptable to the Palestinian factions. He reiterated that Hamas has finally and decisively chosen Haniyeh to be the prime minister of any future government.