French talks with Hamas not appropriate: USMay 20th, 2008 - 7:53 am ICT by admin
Washington, May 20 (DPA) The US said Monday that holding talks with Hamas was not wise or appropriate after the French government confirmed that it had established contact with the Palestinian militants. “We don’t think that a contact with Hamas is something that brings peace any closer to the people of the Middle East,” US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
“We don’t believe it’s wise or appropriate either,” he added.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner Monday confirmed a newspaper report that France had opened political contacts with the radical Islamic group Hamas.
“It is necessary to have contacts,” Kouchner told Europe 1 radio. “These are not relations, but contacts. We must be able to talk to each other.”
The French daily Le Figaro reported Monday that the first contact took place a month ago in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip between a retired former high ranking diplomat, Yves Aubin de La Messuziere, and senior Hamas leaders.
The US lists Hamas as a terrorist organization and refuses to direct contact with the group that seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.
De La Messuziere said he delivered the policy shared by the Americans and the French that Hamas must recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terrorism and violence and accept previous agreements with the Jewish state before it can play a role in the peace process.
The State Department similarly criticized former president Jimmy Carter for travelling to Syria last month to meet Hamas.