State Department: Carter should not meet Hamas chief - Israel News, Ynetnews

   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
Carter's Journey

State Department unimpressed with Carter's plans Photo: AFP
State Department unimpressed with Carter's plans Photo: AFP

State Department: Carter should not meet Hamas chief

Former President Jimmy Carter advised to refrain from meeting Khaled Mashaal

Published: 04.10.08, 20:09 / Israel News

The US State Department said on Thursday it had advised ex-President Jimmy Carter against meeting the leader of Hamas in Syria next week, saying it went against US policy of isolating the group.


Carter has in recent days discussed with the State Department's point person on Israeli-Palestinian issues, David Welch, his plans to meet Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.


Carter Visit
Former US president Carter plans meeting with Hamas' Mashaal / Yitzhak Benhorin
According to reports Carter to visit Syria in April, possibly meet with exiled Hamas leader. Head of Jewish group objects, claiming Carter's meeting with terrorist organization head unacceptable
Full Story

"We have counseled the former president about having such a meeting," said State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, adding the advice was not to go ahead with such talks.


"US government policy is that Hamas is a terrorist organization and we don't believe it is in the interests of our policy or in the interests of peace to have such a meeting," he told reporters when asked about Carter's plans.


Earlier, Hamas official Ayman Taha told Reuters in Gaza of Carter's planned meeting. "There is an agreement to hold the meeting and arrangements are underway," he said. Taha said the meeting was to be held following a request from the Carter Center in Atlanta, whose goal is to promote global peace, health, democracy and human rights.


The Carter Center had no immediate comment on the former president's trip. Carter, 83, served one term as president between 1977 and 1981. In 2002, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.


McCormack said as a former president, the US government would provide support for Carter's Syrian trip but the State Department would not take part in any of his meetings or the planning and scheduling those talks.


Annan not planning to join

Al-Jazeera Television said the Syria meeting could also include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and former South African President Nelson Mandela, also a Nobel Peace Prize winner.


But Fred Eckhard, Annan's former spokesman at the United Nations, said Annan had no plans to accompany Carter to Damascus.


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to Annan earlier this week about Hamas, said McCormack, who declined to provide details of the call.


"Secretary Annan is well aware of our position regarding Hamas as he was a former member of the quartet," said McCormack.


commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Bookmark to

34 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load


RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions