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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
Hamas leader sticks to hard line
Khaled Meshaal
Meshaal's doctrine has left Hamas isolated from the West
The political leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas has again ruled out recognising the State of Israel or abandoning "armed resistance".

Speaking in exile in Syria, Khaled Meshaal also warned against attempts to unseat the Hamas-led government.

But Mr Meshaal said a government of national unity was still possible with the rival Fatah faction.

The US and EU have boycotted the Palestinian government over Hamas' refusal to deal with the Jewish state.

International donors are also demanding that Hamas renounce violence.

Hamas does not want to be in power alone
Khaled Meshaal

Mr Meshaal reiterated Hamas' hard line at a news conference in Damascus.

"Hamas will not surrender to those wanting to mount a coup against it, will not recognise Israel and will not abandon armed resistance," he said.

His remarks come after Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas recently said he might invoke powers to dismiss the Hamas government after talks on forming a coalition reached stalemate.

But Mr Meshaal hinted that a unity government was still possible.

"Hamas does not want to be in power alone," the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

"The real solution is the formation of a national unity government based on Palestinian principles."

Mr Meshaal also suggested that a Hamas could negotiate with Israel without formally recognising it, the Reuters news agency reported.

"Does non-recognition prevent political dialogue?" he asked.

"China doesn't recognise Taiwan - states sometimes don't recognise each other yet still have ties."

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