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16 April 2007
Verhagen will refuse visa for Palestinian Prime Minister
16 Apr 2007 | Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen will turn down any visa application for the Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The Hamas leader has been invited to attend a Palestinian-European conference in Rotterdam on 5 May.
By making this decision, Mr Verhagen aims to prevent Mr Haniyeh from coming to the Netherlands, as Hamas is included on the European list of terrorist organisations. In addition, Hamas does not recognise the state of Israel. It is the policy of the European Union that EU ministers should have no contacts with Hamas ministers. Mr Verhagen is adhering to this policy. The Dutch missions in Ramallah, Amman and Damascus have yet to receive an application for the Palestinian Prime Minister.
The conference to which Mr Haniyeh has been invited, which will focus on the fate of Palestinian refugees, is being organised by the Palestinian Platform for Human Rights and Solidarity.