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Hamas is national movement and US should be ready to negotiate, says ex-Tunisian president

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki speaks during an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia on September 01, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, Tunisia on 1 September 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Former Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki has said that Hamas is a national resistance movement and not a terrorist organisation. In his televised comments he also insisted that the United States should recognise this fact and negotiate with the Palestinian group.

"As long as the US maintains its position regarding Hamas and considers it as a terrorist organisation, it will not achieve any results in terms of peace talks and negotiations," Marzouki told Al Jazeera Mubasher on Tuesday. "I have always supported Hamas because it is a national resistance movement. When I was president of Tunisia, I received Khaled Meshaal and Ismail Haniyeh, totally ignoring the US ambassador's indignation at the meeting."

The former Tunisian president added that it is "fortunate" that the Europeans have started to understand this and are looking for the right path to initiate a dialogue with Hamas. "Now or later, the Americans must admit that Hamas is a national resistance movement. In the end, the Americans are wasting their time because eventually they will have to resort to dialogue with those who have power on the ground."

The Americans have negotiated with the Taliban, he pointed out. "So why do not they talk with all the Palestinian forces?"

A ceasefire between Palestinian resistance factions and the Israeli occupation forces came into effect at 2am last Friday. It ended 11 days and nights of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip and brutal attacks committed by the occupation police and settlers in Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

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