Monday, October 1, 2012

Haniyeh meets Qatari emir

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government said.

Taher al-Nunu said the leaders discussed the role of Qatar and the Arab League in addressing Israel's illegal siege of Gaza and protecting Jerusalem.

The Qatari prince and the Hamas leader also talked about Palestinian national reconciliation and the implications of the Arab Spring, al-Nunu said.

Al-Thani praised the resilience of the people of Gaza and said the Arab Spring could have a positive influence on the Palestinian struggle, the spokesman added.

Qatar ended formal relations with Israel after it launched a devastating attack on Gaza in December 2008.

The emirate has supported the Arab Spring, providing arms and troops to Libyan rebels as they battled Moammar Gadhafi.

The Qatari prime minster was the first Arab leader to suggest sending Arab troops to Syria to end President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

Hamas' headquarters are in Damascus, but tensions have grown over 10 months of bloodshed there.

Haniyeh's next stop is Iran, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime.

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