debkafile: Jack Straw lowers price for “normal relations” with Hamas amid UK bidding for big arms deals with Saudi Arabia

Speaking in Riyadh, the UK foreign secretary significantly watered down US-European provisions for acceptance of a Hamas government and a de-freeze on funding.
debkafile‘s sources disclose: Britain and France are competing for large-scale arms deals with Saudi Arabia and multi-billon dollar contracts to build a new electronic fence enclosing the border between the oil kingdom and Iraq. The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday exclusively reveals the debate in Riyadh over the choice of a European supplier.
Straw’s main mission in Riyadh was to gain the edge for London over Paris. To this end, three days after Hamas justified a Palestinian suicide bombing which killed 9 people in Tel Aviv, he was willing to back down from the three main US-EU provisos for accepting a Hamas government.
There was no need of a formal Hamas declaration recognizing Israel, said the UK foreign secretary; accepting the “reality’ of a Jewish State would be enough. Neither was it necessary to rewrite the Hamas charter calling for Israel’s destruction. According to the UK foreign secretary, Britain would accept Hamas’s silence on violence. Denunciation of suicide bombers by Abu Mazen would suffice, for the purpose of entering into dialogue with the Hamas government.

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