French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday that his government was ready to talk to Hamas, if the group renounced violence and recognize Israel.
France currently only has indirect contacts with Hamas, which the European Union lists as a terrorist group.
Speaking in parliament, Kouchner said: "We don't ignore the reality of Hamas, its electoral success or its weight in Palestinian opinion."
He expressed hope that international pressure for a Gaza cease-fire will be "effective in a few days."
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