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No talks with Hamas till it renounces violence: Clinton

world Updated: Mar 03, 2009 10:30 IST

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ruled out any talks with Hamas till it renounces violence and recognises Israel.

Talking to reporters in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, after participating in an Egypt-sponsored international aid meet on Gaza, Clinton said this is the stand of not only the US, but also the Quartet, which comprises UN, Russia and EU, besides the US. The Arab League also has a similar viewpoint.

"Hamas would have to adopt in order for any of us to engage with Hamas: recognise Israel, renounce violence, and agree to abide by the prior PLO agreements," she said on Monday.

"That is not the United States talking. That is the Quartet and the Arab League. Everyone knows what Hamas must do, and it is up to Hamas," she added.

Clinton also expressed concern over the continuation of rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel. "I have to confess I am troubled by the continuing rocket attacks coming out of Gaza, 15 to 18 rockets in the last several days," Clinton said, according to the transcripts made available by the State Department.

"We call upon all parties to move toward a durable ceasefire, but it is very difficult for any country to just sit and take rockets falling on its people. That is the crux of the Israeli problem. How are they supposed to respond when they continue to have that kind of attack?" she asked.