Iran: Peace talk participants 'traitors'

Sept. 3, 2010 at 6:53 PM
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CAIRO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Egypt says it has canceled a meeting with Iran's foreign minister after he called participants in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks "traitors."

Egypt's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the scheduled Sunday meeting between Egypt, Iran and Cuba was off and then summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires in Cairo to clarify the statement made by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Egypt Daily News reported Friday.

"Some Palestinian leaders, who are for compromise, are these days following an order from America and building the table of negotiation with heads of the Zionist regime," Mottaki said. "They should know that they are traitors to the Palestinian people and the negotiation is a nail in the coffin of (those who support) compromise."

Nabil Abdel-Fatah, an analyst at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said Mottaki's comments were made deliberately to cast doubt on the moderate Arab states', Egyptian and American efforts to jump-start peace talks, the newspaper said.

"It is part of the attempts by the Iranian axis in the region to influence the current peace talks, which do not include Iranian allies like Hamas, so it is expected that Egypt respond in such a manner," Abdel-Fatah said.

"Regardless of the actual possible success of the talks and the serious obstacles it faces, the Iranian comments are an attempt to blur the issue."

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