Sunday, April 13, 2008

CARTER DISCUSSES PLANS TO MEET WITH HAMAS LEADER

ABC NEWS Former President Jimmy Carter defended his intention to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal during an upcoming trip to the Middle East, saying the group must be included in the peace process for the troubled region. "It's very important that at least someone meet with the Hamas leaders to express their views, to ascertain what flexibility they have, to try to induce them to stop all attacks against innocent civilians in Israel and to cooperate with the Fatah as a group that unites the Palestinians," Carter said in an exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' "This Week."

"There's no doubt in anyone's mind that if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbors, the Palestinians, that Hamas will have to be included in the process," Carter added. "I think someone should be meeting with Hamas to see what we can do to encourage them to be cooperative and to find out what their attitude."

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