Saudi Arabia has unsuccessfully argued to the Bush administration that shutting off aid to the Palestinian government and isolating its new Hamas leaders will radicalize a destitute population and set back the cause of peace with Israel.
"We are arguing the point, needless to say, with them strenuously," Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's longtime foreign minister, told reporters Wednesday. "It is only through inclusion that you may change the position of Hamas."
Prince Saud is in Washington for meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other US officials. He said he argued against cutting US and European aid to the Palestinian government at a meeting at the United Nations last week with Rice and other potential Middle East peacemakers.