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Rice takes swipe at Carter over Hamas talks

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
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:blush: After my last embarrassing debacle I debated about posting this article. Anyways back in the game and on with the march I say! The interesting part about this article is the last bit about US policy to isolate. I wasn't very aware before about Hamas being so unwilling to step up to the plate of the international political process.

Rice takes swipe at Carter over Hamas talks

By Sue Pleming

2 hours, 23 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday criticized any plans by ex-President Jimmy Carter to see the leader of Hamas in Syria next week, saying the militant group was an impediment to peace.

"I find it hard to understand what is to be gained by having discussions with Hamas about peace when Hamas is in fact the impediment to peace," Rice told reporters at a joint news conference with Germany's foreign minister.

The former U.S. president, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, could meet the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, during a trip to the Middle East that begins on Sunday.

Hamas has confirmed the talks will take place but Carter has not yet provided any details of specific meetings during his nine-day trip that includes stops in the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The State Department has counseled Carter, a vocal critic of Bush administration foreign policy, not to see the Hamas leader. Close U.S. ally Israel has also condemned the move.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization," said Rice, who sought Carter's counsel on his own previous Arab-Israeli peacemaking efforts ahead of a U.S.-hosted Middle East conference in Annapolis last November.

"Hamas has been offered many opportunities to come into line with international standards concerning the Middle East," she said, including recognizing Israel, signing on to past pacts between the Palestinians and the Israelis and renouncing violence.

"Hamas has been unwilling to do that," Rice added.

Rice said pro-Western President Mahmoud Abbas -- whom she called the "legitimate president" of the Palestinian territories -- had also made clear he would only engage Hamas if certain conditions were met.

POLICY TO ISOLATE

U.S. policy has been to isolate Hamas, which seized control of Gaza last June, and to bolster Abbas, who rules the West Bank and is in U.S.-sponsored talks with the Israelis.

Despite the Palestinian territories being divided between Hamas-run Gaza and Abbas's West Bank, the Bush administration hopes there will be agreement on an independent Palestinian state by January 2009 when President George W. Bush leaves office.

Rice said Hamas had launched a coup against Abbas in Gaza last June and the militant group was squarely to blame for any suffering of the population in Gaza since then.

Carter, 83, served one term as president from 1977 to 1981, and has a long history in Middle East peacemaking.

He succeeded in negotiating the 1978 Camp David Accords that paved the way for peace between Israel and Egypt but he has increasingly taken positions highly critical of Israel.

In a 2006 book, he described Israeli policy in the occupied territories as "a system of apartheid."

Carter's proposed trip has also entered the U.S. presidential race, with Democratic contender Barack Obama saying on Friday it was not his place to criticize the former president although he would not meet with the militant Palestinian group himself.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

Source

Edited by Olivia*

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I wasn't very aware before about Hamas being so unwilling to step up to the plate of the international political process.

that's because hamas's idea of diplomacy is more rockets.


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I wasn't very aware before about Hamas being so unwilling to step up to the plate of the international political process.

that's because hamas's idea of diplomacy is more rockets.

Don't forget about the suicide bombers too.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

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I wasn't very aware before about Hamas being so unwilling to step up to the plate of the international political process.

that's because hamas's idea of diplomacy is more rockets.

Don't forget about the suicide bombers too.

Hamas should invite Kofi Annan for coffee and Desmond Tutu for some tutti-frutti.

And simple_male to take notes.


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I wasn't very aware before about Hamas being so unwilling to step up to the plate of the international political process.

that's because hamas's idea of diplomacy is more rockets.

Don't forget about the suicide bombers too.

Hamas should invite Kofi Annan for coffee and Desmond Tutu for some tutti-frutti.

And simple_male to take notes.

:rofl:

carter should SHUT IT.


"It's far better to be alone than wish you were." - Ann Landers

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
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Well at least someone in Palestine is stepping up to the plate and responding to Hamas's threat to storm Egypt's boarder telling them that's stupid. If the Bush Administration truly reaches their goal of creating a Palestinian state by Jan. 2009 I would have to say that would be a historical day for diplomacy and reconciliation for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinians seek Egypt's help in bringing peace to Gaza

22 minutes ago

CAIRO (AFP) — The Palestinian Authority called on Egypt on Saturday to continue its efforts to help bring renewed calm to the Gaza Strip, in order to avoid the danger of an Israeli invasion.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat made the plea after meetings in Cairo with Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Abul Gheit, its intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, and Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa.

He asked Egypt to continue its efforts "to achieve calm in the Gaza Strip," something "we want to consolidate to protect the Palestinian people."

At the same time, he called on "all Palestinian factions in Gaza to cooperate with Egypt," expressing fears of a "catastrophe in Gaza if Israeli forces launch a major offensive on it."

Seven Palestinians were killed on Friday as Israeli tanks and helicopters opened fire inside Gaza after Israel vowed to retaliate for a border attack two days earlier.

Before the operation was launched, two Hamas militants were killed in an air strike.

At least 25 more Palestinians were wounded in Friday's incursion, including three children who suffered severe wounds.

Erakat also said that it would be "absolutely unacceptable" for anyone to threaten the national security of Egypt.

He was referring to a threat by Hamas to storm Gaza's borders in a repeat of a breach in January that sent hundreds of thousands of weary Palestinians streaming into Egypt to stock up on goods unavailable at home because of an Israeli embargo.

Egypt has since brought in extra troops to reinforce its border with Gaza.

Erakat also called on Hamas, which seized control of Gaza from Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in June, to fall in line behind a Yemeni proposal for reconciliation.

Representatives from the two sides met in Sanaa last month, but were unable to agree on an end to their discord.

Source


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Egypt and Hamas: The Frontiers of Crisis

Mohammad Salah Al-Hayat - 14/04/08//

The quick and angry Egyptian reaction to the statements by some Hamas leaders about another breach of the Gaza-Sinai frontier reflects the degree of Egyptian anger about this "headache." It is a headache that may turn into a chronic disease on both sides, and Egypt and Hamas should coexist with this situation.

Egypt is also suffering from another anxiety-inducing domestic headache, but in this case Egypt has found the ideal way to deal with the situation. It seems that successive Egyptian governments have settled the relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and adopted a policy based on delivering abortive blows from time to time against the organization. The governments have also dried the sources of the organization's financing and have excluded it from every political competition. This followed the 2005 parliamentary elections when the Brotherhood leapt to the fore and scored a notable success by winning 88 seats. All evidence and various political activities that have taken place since then confirm that such a development will not be repeated. The evidence also confirms that what happened in the Shura Council, and later in the local elections, in addition to the "funding of the Brotherhood" issue that the Military Tribunal is examining, along with dozens of campaigns targeting Brotherhood activists, are all paving the way for a climate aimed at sidelining the Brotherhood in the 2010 parliamentary elections.

However, things are different when it comes to managing the relationship with Hamas. It is no secret that Egyptian officials monitor the behavior of the movement and the rhythm of its operations, whether aimed at Israel or Egypt. They believe that the fingerprints of Syria can no longer be hidden when analyzing statements issued or actions taken by Hamas leaders.

Cairo finds itself in an extremely difficult position. It always tries to engage Hamas in any formula to solve the Palestinian issue, as well as in other cases: in the debate over the dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas; in efforts to calm things between the Palestinians and Israel; and in talks of a final settlement of the Palestinian issue. The Egyptians have always affirmed that Hamas has become a reality that must be dealt with, and that others must coexist with the movement even with the presence of different visions over the group's ideas, principles or behavior. At the same time, Hamas' intentions and its direct or indirect relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood remain suspicious. There is the danger of exporting Hamas's ideas to Egyptians in Sinai, hence inflicting harm to Egypt's national security with an impact on tourism in the peninsula. There is also the matter of the repeated threats to storm the Gaza-Sinai borders. Egyptian officials find themselves obliged to deal with all of these problems using security-minded approaches more than political ones. The relationship between Egypt and Hamas has remained a good one until Hamas took over the Gaza Strip last June.

The terrorist attacks that took place in Sinai, which some Egyptian officials tried to link to Hamas militants in Gaza by talking about the ties between radical Egyptian fundamentalists and some Hamas leaders inside the occupied territories, did not harm the relationship. However, the deterioration in Egyptian-Syrian relations as a result of the Lebanese crisis has taken a toll on this relationship. Cairo has come to believe that Hamas is deliberately trying to "heat up" the situation to reduce pressure on Damascus at times or put pressure on Cairo at others. The prevailing belief in the Egyptian capital is that Hamas behaved calmly prior to the Arab Summit in Damascus to help Syria see the event through without incident in the absence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A few Egyptian officials engaged have linked Egypt's stance on the Arab Summit and the launching of threats to re-breach the Gaza-Sinai border. It appears that the coming weeks will witness considerable pressure on Egypt's relations with Hamas. There seems to be no quick solution to the Lebanese crisis on the horizon, and there is little hope of Egyptian-Syrian agreement to resolve the contradiction in the stances of the two countries on the Lebanese issue and on Iran's role in the region. Moreover, the domestic confrontation between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood is headed for escalation. All of these issues increase the possibility of a heightened tension between Egypt and Hamas. Cairo has promised decisive steps in response to another breach of the border. Based on all of these factors, it appears that the break-out from Gaza will be repeated, but the reaction will be different this time, since the "frontiers" of the crisis go beyond the mere borders of Gaza.

Source


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