Hamas calls for boycott of peace summit

Oct. 6, 2007 at 1:41 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The former prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority has urged several Arab countries to boycott an upcoming regional peace conference.

Ismail Haniya has asked several key regional countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to boycott the Middle Eastern summit the United States is sponsoring next month, the BBC said Saturday.

"We do not put the slightest hope in this conference," the dismissed prime minister said of the planned event.

The United States has said next month's conference should be focused on discussing key issues regarding a Palestinian state. Palestinian territories are currently divided since Hamas wrestled control of the Gaza Strip away from Fatah forces in June.

The BBC said that to help prepare for the peace conference, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to travel to the strife-torn region next week to begin summit preparations.

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