The head of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, gave a qualified welcome here Thursday to the big speech that Pres. Barack Obama addressed to the Muslim world in Cairo.
“The speech was cleverly written in the way it addressed the Muslim world… and in the way it showed respect to the Muslim heritage,” Meshaal told IPS in an exclusive interview. “But I think it’s not enough. What’s needed are deeds, actions on the ground, and a change of policies.”
His remarks came just hours after the speech, in a wide-ranging interview in one of the Hamas leader’s offices here in the Syrian capital.
In the interview, Meshaal was friendly, quietly self-confident, and thoughtful. He was firm in describing his movement’s positions, including when he restated that he wants Hamas to be treated as “part of the solution and not part of the problem”. [continued…]
Most people across Muslim and Arab lands viewed President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt, as “excellent,” a spokesman for the hard-line Palestinian movement Hamas said.
But the official, Ahmed Yousef, interviewed on CNN’s “American Morning” from Gaza City, said there’s a question on the street: Is the American president “ready to walk the way he talks?”
“This is the question,” said Yousef, the senior adviser for former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.
In his address to Muslims, Obama called for bridging gaps between Israelis and Palestinians and urged the establishment of a two-state solution to the conflict. He called for an end to Israeli settlement building, and he called for the Palestinians to end violence against the Jewish state. [continued…]