Chirac urges no sanctions on Palestinians

French President Jacques Chirac on Monday urged the international community to avoid punishing the Palestinians even if Hamas offers no clear, quick responses to demands that it renounce violence and recognize Israel. Chirac spoke after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II, who said the region could plunge into a decade or more of violence if the Palestinians do not have their own state within two years. The meeting with the king reflected Chirac's long-standing efforts to court Arab countries and project himself as a force of moderation between the West and the Muslim world. "We must find a way to pursue European aid to the Palestinian people ... without it being sent where it shouldn't be," Chirac said.