July 18, 2007
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Anna Christopher, NPR
   

SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE
SAYS U.S. WILL NOT ENGAGE WITH HAMAS
ON NPR NEWS ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
TODAY, WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

EXCERPTS BELOW; AUDIO TO BE AVAILABLE AT 7 PM (ET) AT WWW.NPR.ORG

EDITOR’S NOTE: COLIN POWELL CRITICAL OF THE ADMINISTRATION ON HAMAS AND THE IRAQ WAR ON ALL THINGS CONSIDERED TODAY; SEPARATE EXCERPTS RELEASE FORTHCOMING AT 4 PM (ET)


July 18, 2007; Washington, D.C. – In an interview with host Michele Norris airing later today on NPR News All Things Considered, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the United States’ renewed Middle East diplomacy will not include talks with Hamas, calling it “a terrorist organization and they’re devoted to the destruction of Israel. There’s not much to talk about.”

“Yes, Hamas was elected, but Hamas was also elected to act responsibly, and Hamas has not acted responsibly,” says Secretary Rice. “They have refused important international agreements that Palestinians signed and have held to for more than a decade. They have refused to renounce violence. It’s very hard to imagine a partner for peace that refuses to renounce violence and refuses to recognize the right of the other partner to even exist. …And so I find rather strange the notion that we should somehow try and engage Hamas, a terrorist organization that clearly has not lived up to the responsibilities of governing, rather than to work with and strengthen the Palestinian president, who shares all of the values that will, in fact, bring about peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”

Transcribed experts of the interview with Secretary Rice are below. All excerpts must be credited to NPR News All Things Considered. Television usage must include on-screen NPR News credit with NPR logo. The audio of the interview will be made available at www.NPR.org at approximately 7:00 p.m. ET. For a full transcript, contact is below.

NOTE: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will also appear on All Things Considered today. In the interview, he criticizes how the Bush administration is carrying out the Iraq War, as well as the White House’s decision not to talk to Hamas. A similar excerpts release will be distributed at 4 PM (ET) and posted on the Press Room at www.NPR.org. For a full transcript, contact is below.

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon news magazine, is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel and reaches 11.5 million listeners weekly. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org.

-NPR-

On why the United States will not engage with both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, Secretary Rice says: “We saw what Hamas did in Gaza when they threw people off of buildings and then knelt to pray. The violence in the Palestinian territories and the Gaza in particular is directly related to Hamas activities. So to somehow engage Hamas and to reward that activity would make no sense.”

On the National Intelligence Estimate and other reports indicating a stronger threat from al-Qaida and other insurgents, Secretary Rice says: “Well, I just don’t think that that’s true. It’s clear: al-Qaida is trying to adapt; it’s trying to change. It’s not the organization that attacked us on September 11th in terms of its field generalship, in terms of where it does its training, in terms of the financial ties that is has. It’s not surprising that they’re trying to adapt and to reconstitute. But we are stronger, too, in the way that we can resist them. We are stronger, too, in the allies who are fighting them, fighting them actively in Afghanistan, fighting them actively in Pakistan, fighting them actively in Saudi Arabia. They don’t have the kind of umbrella of protection that they once had by the simple silence and incapacity of so much of the world to deal with them.”