[It looks as though we may be seeing major power consensus breaking down — on the responses to Israel/Palestine, a war on Iran, energy allocations (oil, natural gas).  One fears that a hot economic war may replace the cold war nuclear standoff now.  And with what consequences as the struggle to control resources heats up?  Ed Kent]

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1171894530572&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Feb. 27, 2007 11:40 | Updated Feb. 27, 2007 15:08
Russia agrees to work toward lifting PA aid sanctions
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Russia will work for international support of the Palestinian Authority power-sharing arrangement and for the lifting of the crippling international aid blockade, the foreign minister said Tuesday.

Russia favors the agreement between Hamas and the Fatah group to share power because it shows “wisdom, reason and responsibility before the Palestinian people,” Sergey Lavrov said before a meeting with Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal.

“We are pushing for all members of the international community to support this process and make it irreversible, including efforts to lift the blockade,” Lavrov added.

Millions of dollars in crucial foreign aid were cut off after Hamas, which the European Union, United States and others consider a terrorist group, gained control of the Cabinet and the legislature in January 2006 elections.

The so-called Quartet of Mideast peace brokers – which includes Russia, the EU, the United Nations and the United States – has demanded that any new Palestinian government recognize Israel’s right to exist, which Hamas has failed to do.

However, since the power-sharing deal worked out this month, there has appeared to be a softening in the stance of some EU countries toward Hamas.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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