Hamas hails meeting with former US diplomat

Official calls Pickering's meeting with Zahar and Naim a bid to gauge changes in group's positions.

July 17, 2009 13:40
1 minute read.
Hamas hails meeting with former US diplomat

Mahmoud Zahar 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Hamas on Friday hailed the meeting between the group's representatives and former top US diplomat Thomas Pickering. On Wednesday, the Washington Post revealed that Pickering, a former US ambassador to Israel and the UN as well as former secretary of state Madeleine Albright's deputy in the Clinton Administration, met last month in Geneva with Hamas leaders Bassem Naim and Mahmoud Zahar. A Hamas source quoted by Israel Radio on Friday stated that the meeting joined other attempts by by former US diplomats to put the feelers out in a bid to gauge the group's positions on various issues, and expressed hope that the changes in the diplomats' attitudes toward the group would eventually influence decision-makers in Washington. The State Department stressed that the meeting between Pickering and the Hamas leaders was not sanctioned by the US Administration and that its policy regarding the group remained unchanged - that it had to accept the Quartet conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements as a precondition for dialogue. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly emphasized that Pickering acted as a private citizen and that he was unaware of any prior coordination with the former diplomat about the meeting. The Washington Post had quoted Naim as saying of the meeting: "I hope it will be the beginning of addressing some of the mistakes of the last three years…"This was a first meeting to investigate the positions in general terms of both parties without any commitment on any side."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Turkey Investigating Khashoggi Murder
October 19, 2018
Leaks, media and the Khashoggi affair