“Hamas must change” – Swedish foreign minister

The Swedish government warned on Thursday that the radical Islamist movement Hamas, which is to form the next Palestinian government, would have to change its ways to win cooperation from the European Union.

“Hamas must radically change its policies, otherwise Sweden and the EU will not be able to cooperate with a future Palestinian government in which Hamas will have a dominant position,” Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds told Swedish radio.

“The EU cannot cooperate with a regime which doesn’t distance itself from violence and which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist,” she said.

The full results of the election will not be announced until Thursday evening, but Hamas appears to have secured up to 75 of the parliament’s 132 seats.

A senior official for the ruling Fatah party conceded defeat, and Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei subsequently announced his resignation, saying Hamas must form the next government.

AFP/The Local