Monday, April 14, 2008

Carter wants U.S. talks with Hamas

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AIRPORT CITY, Israel - Former President Jimmy Carter said he hoped to help open talks between Hamas and U.S. leaders, saying Washington's policy of not meeting with people it labeled terrorists was counterproductive.

He angered Israelis with his plans to meet in Syria this week with the leader of the Islamist group, which rules Gaza and is largely responsible for rocket fire against Israeli towns. Hamas has killed some 250 Israelis in suicide bombings and has been blacklisted by the U.S. and Israel as a terrorist organization.

Speaking at an event organized by an Israeli financial newspaper, Carter said he wanted to become a "communicator" between Hamas and the U.S.

"I hope then the Israeli government will deign to meet with me — they have so far refused," he said.


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