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Archive for Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rice: U.S. will encourage efforts to isolate Hamas

January 29, 2006

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— The Bush administration will press governments around the world - including in Europe, Asia and the Middle East - to sever economic ties and freeze most aid to the Palestinian territories until Hamas rejects violence and accepts Israel's right to exist, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice indicated Sunday.

Even humanitarian assistance should be considered on a case-by-case basis, Rice told reporters traveling with her on the eve of a special meeting with the so-called diplomatic quartet, the group of world leaders charged with overseeing efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rice is in London with representatives from about 70 other nations to raise financial support for Afghanistan, but she made it clear that she'll be working on the sidelines to freeze virtually all support for a new Palestinian government led by Hamas.

In trying to forge a worldwide alliance to isolate Hamas, Rice suggested there was momentum beyond the United States and Europe.

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