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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure Hamas accepts and abides by the Quartet principles. [R]

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Government's position remains that if Hamas wish to be treated by the UK and the rest of the international community like other Islamist movements in the region, they must first make credible steps towards the conditions of renouncing violence, recognising Israel and accepting previously signed agreements, in line with the Quartet principles. We are following ongoing discussions on Palestinian reconciliation. If, through the reconciliation process with Fatah, Hamas supports a new unified Palestinian Government which rejects violence and pursues a negotiated peace, that would be a good first step.

We also urge Hamas to continue to respect the ceasefire agreed with Israel on 21 November 2012. We are calling on all sides to take advantage of the continuing talks in Cairo to address the fundamental issues facing Gaza, including more access for people and goods and an end to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

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