Blaydon MP Warns Straw after Hamas Meeting

Article excerpt

A North mp has met the Islamic militant group Hamas ( and warned Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to keep his "cool" over the situation.

Blaydon's Dave Anderson is one of the first British MPs to meet leaders of the organisation following their surprise victory in the Palestinian elections and is preparing to tell Jack Straw not to commit any "knee-jerk reactions".

Foreign donors which have sustained the Palestinians in the last decade have threatened to withdraw their financial backing if Hamas fails to renounce violence, however Mr Anderson said Britain had to respect the democratic decision of the people.

"Not talking to Hamas is not a solution because it's the people on the ground who are suffering. There is a job that needs to be done and part of that is keeping our cool and not doing any of the knee-jerk reaction stuff such as pulling money out."

Mr Anderson was visiting the region as part of his work helping trade union officials in Iraq and the wider Middle East, but in surprise move for the MP he was also invited to speak to Hamas speaker in parliament Aziz Dweik. …