The US denied on Saturday reports by an Arab newspaper saying officials were holding secret talks with Hamas.
Assistant White House Press Secretary Tommy Vietor said the story was "inaccurate", and that it was unfortunate the paper's editors neglected to request a comment by the US administration.
According to the report published by Al-Quds Al-Arabi Friday, official and unofficial US sources have asked the Hamas to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, following reports that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the administration.
A senior Hamas figure told the newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would "rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas".
Hamas has been blacklisted by the US State Department, which considers it a terror organization and has made it illegal for any US official to meet with its leaders. But the group has been attempting to gain worldwide legitimacy through international relations.