The State Department says it has twice asked Jimmy Carter not to meet with Hamas leaders, but the former president says he feels “quite at ease” in going ahead with a scheduled meeting because “Hamas will have to be included” if there is to be peace in the region.
AP via Google:
“I feel quite at ease in doing this,” he said. “I think 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.”
Although he said the meeting would not be a negotiation, he outlined distinct goals.
“I think that 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, maybe to get them to agree to a cease-fire—things of this kind,” he said.