United States Vice-President Dick Cheney said Monday that Hamas, with support from Syria and Iran, is trying to "torpedo" peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.Quote has been trimmed
Meeting reporters after having breakfast with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Cheney said, "It is clearly a difficult situation, in part, because I think it's true, there's evidence, that Hamas is supported by Iran and Syria and that they're doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process."
Cheney said in his meeting with Palestinian leaders on Sunday they talked about efforts underway in Yemen to encourage reconciliation between moderate and militant Palestinians.
"My conclusion after talking about this with the Palestinians is that they have established some preconditions before they would ever consider a reconciliation, including a complete reversal of the Hamas takeover of Gaza," he said.
Asked whether the U.S. supports the Yemeni mediation effort to bridge differences between Hamas and Fatah, a senior administration official travelling with Cheney and speaking on condition of anonymity said the U.S. has made it clear that it will not support working with Hamas unless there is a fundamental change in the group's current role, which the U.S. describes as terrorist.