The United States accepted Turkey’s explanation for why it hosted a delegation from Hamas. The February meeting with the terrorist group, which won victory in Palestinian Authority legislative elections in January, angered Israel, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed this week that the Bush administration also sought explanations. “The Turks made very clear that while they wanted to meet with Hamas, they wanted to send a very strong message to Hamas that Hamas needed to accede to the ‘Quartet’ requirements,” Rice said Monday. The diplomatic Quartet of the United States, European Union, Russia and United Nations guides the Middle East peace process and has required Hamas to recognize Israel and end terrorism if it wants international ties. The Turkish message was “completely consistent,” Rice said.
April 26, 2006