Palestinians: “Carter-Hamas Meeting Achieved Nothing”

Last week’s meeting between former US president Jimmy Carter and the exiled leader of Hamas militants did not produce any results, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said here Wednesday.

“President Carter came to the region thinking he could achieve something. Unfortunately president Carter left without anything concrete,” he told a conference in the Spanish capital.

“The only thing he achieved was permission on the part of Khaled Meshaal of Hamas to deliver a letter from a detained Israeli soldier to his family. Nothing else,” he said.

“Hamas offered nothing to president Carter. They reiterated the same positions. There was no change on the part of Hamas,” Malki added.

Carter’s meetings with top Hamas leader Meshaal and his deputy in Syria angered Israel and the United States, which consider the movement a terror group despite its victory in 2006 elections.

He was unable to secure a ceasefire or a prisoner exchange for an Israeli soldier seized by Gaza militants in 2006, but on Monday Carter said Hamas told him it would recognise Israel’s right to exist such a deal was approved by a Palestinian vote.

Just hours later Meshaal told a press conference in Damascus that Hamas would not recognise the Jewish state and would insist on the right of return for 4.5 million Palestinian refugees.

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