Hamas says Carter will meet two of its leaders

Hamas said on Wednesday that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter would meet two of its leaders from Gaza in Egypt.

Hamas says Carter will meet two of its leaders
Hamas official Ayman Taha said senior leaders Mahmoud al-Zahar and Saeed Seyam would travel to Cairo later in the day for talks with Carter, who began a Middle East visit on Sunday.

"Mr Carter asked for the meeting. He wanted to hear the Hamas vision regarding the situation, and we are interested in clarifying our position and emphasising the rights of our people," Taha said.

Carter's delegation in Israel declined to comment.

Carter had wanted to visit the Gaza Strip, which is governed by Hamas, but Israel rejected his request.

All the border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip are controlled by the Jewish state. Egyptian forces are stationed at Gaza's southern border, which is usually closed.

On Tuesday, in the occupied West Bank, Carter met Naser al-Shaer, who served as deputy prime minister in the Hamas-led government that the United States and other Western powers boycotted.

Carter, a broker of Israel's 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, met Israel's ceremonial president Shimon Peres on Sunday but did not meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other policymakers.

Carter stressed he was not acting during his current regional visit as negotiator or mediator but that he hoped, "just as a communicator", to relay to leaders of the United States what Hamas and Syria have to say.

Shaer said he and Carter had discussed efforts to broker an unofficial truce between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

He said Carter had also voiced a desire to help in trying to end the enmity between Hamas and Fatah.

Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2008, 14:59
Add Comment