Malmö Hamas visit cancelled

Representatives of Hamas will not, after all, visit Malmö later this month as planned. The organisation's group leader Salah Mohammed al-Bardawil has been denied a visa to the Schengen area by French authorities.

The Hamas representative’s European tour will now be a single visit to Oslo on May 15th. The Norwegian authorities have promised al-Bardawil a visa, but it will only be valid for Norway, reported Sydsvenskan.

“This is very unfortunate. After the French refusal al-Bardawil can’t come to Sweden at all,” said Jamal Khabisa at the Palestinian association in Malmö.

The organisers in Sweden, including the Palestinian association, have now shelved all plans for the meeting with Salah Mohammed al-Bardawil, which was due to be held on May 16th.

“But we hope for another date. It is important to break the isolation of the Palestinian government,” said Jan Bonnevier, the spokesman for the organisers.

Al-Bardawil was also invited to visit the parliament building in Stockholm as part of his visit. It is not clear whether that trip is also to be cancelled.

The Hamas representative is still entitled to apply for a national visa for Sweden. But for that to be approved, the Swedish government must regard the visit as a national matter, according to Sydsvenskan.

By the end of the day on Tuesday, Sweden’s general consulate had not received a visa application from Salah Mohammed al-Bardawil.