Rice to Hamas: "In Order to Receive International Assistance You Have to Be Committed to Nonviolence"

(Asharq Al-Awsat-UK) U.S. Secretary of State Rice told Asharq Al-Awsat in London on Thursday: * "I think what you are hearing from the international community is that in order to receive international assistance you have to be committed to nonviolence, you have to be committed to the obligations that have been there for a very long time concerning the peace process and how to move the peace process forward. In order to expect the Israelis to deal with the issues of freedom of movement or to deal with issues - the kind of intertwined economies that exist between the Palestinian territories and Israel, a government of the Palestinian Authority would have to recognize the right of Israel to exist. There are just certain practical realities and I would hope that now having received this mandate from the Palestinian people that Hamas will think hard about its obligations and how it can discharge them in a way that does not harm Palestinian interests." * "Hamas is a terrorist organization and I don't see that we have much to talk about until it is clear that Hamas is prepared to live up to these very important obligations that have been taken on behalf of Palestinians for more than a decade. And, you know, there is not much to talk about if Hamas doesn't recognize the right of Israel to exist. It is not a matter of political recognition even; it is a matter of recognizing the right of Israel to exist. There is not much to talk about if there is a commitment to violence, particularly for a country like the United States that believes the war on terrorism is indivisible, that terrorism and violence are indistinguishable wherever you find them." * "I don't think anybody is prepared to tolerate a nuclear Iran, and it means that we and the Europeans, and I think the Russians also agree with this....There should not a nuclear Iran. The Chinese agree that there should not be a nuclear-armed Iran. That we have to mobilize all of our diplomatic skill and efforts and means to make sure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon....I think you will see more and more tools available to the international system to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon." * "When Ahmadinejad went to Damascus, that was quite a gathering. The leadership of Palestinian rejectionists, the leadership of Hizballah, the Iranians, and the Syrians. That says something about the Middle East that Syria and Iran see and it is 180 degrees from the Middle East that everybody else is trying to build, and so I think it's worth paying attention to."

2006-02-06 00:00:00

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