April 22, 2009 / 4:26 PM / 10 years ago

Clinton sets conditions on Palestinian govt with Hamas

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal delivers a speech at the opening of a poster exhibition of Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, at al-Yarmouk Camp near Damascus April 20, 2009. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday the United States would not deal with or fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the Palestinians meet three international conditions.

“We will not deal with nor in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel and agrees to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian Authority,” Clinton told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee.

Clinton said she has made the U.S. position clear during conversations with Arab and other allies. The United States has pushed for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where an independent Palestinian state exists alongside Israel.

“We want to leave the door open” to including Hamas, Clinton said.

“From everything we hear, there is no intention on the part of Hamas to meet those conditions, but these are not just American conditions. These are the conditions that were adopted by the quartet,” she said.

“These are actually the conditions ... in the Arab peace initiative,” she said.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Israel and the Palestinians to “step back from the abyss” and invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for separate talks in early June.

Reporting by Sue Pleming and John Whitesides; editing by Philip Barbara

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