Reuters Published: 02.23.07, 11:33 / Israel News
Indonesia has invited Hamas and Western representatives to talks in Jakarta next month in a bid to persuade the group to moderate its position and help end a crippling economic blockade of the Palestinian government.
Indonesia has received assurances from Syrian-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal that he would send envoys to Jakarta for the talks, foreign ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said.
"We want to hear from Hamas their views on solving the Palestinian-Israeli issue and outside parties have yet to hear directly from them what it is that they want," Percaya told a news conference.
He did not give an exact date for the meeting but said it would take place before the end of March.
US, European 'individuals' invited
Percaya said despite the formation of a Palestinian unity government, the meeting remained relevant because issues surrounding Western demands for Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept interim peace deals with the Jewish state would not be resolved any time soon.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, is a strong supporter of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood and has no diplomatic ties with Israel .
Percaya said Indonesia had also invited "individuals" from Europe and the United States to participate in the talks and hoped that a Western recognition of the Palestinian unity government would ease the economic blockade. He did not say whether the Western representatives had accepted the invitation.