French PM hopes Hamas-Russia talks can be helpful

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin expressed hope Tuesday that talks between Hamas and Russian officials could help persuade the group to accept international demands to moderate its stance. "Concerning the situation with Palestine, France has reiterated its position ... on recognition of Israel, recognition of the accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the Oslo accords in particular, and of course the renunciation of violence," Villepin said at a joint news conference with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Villepin added that he hoped an invitation from Moscow for Hamas leaders could "rapidly lead to an overall evolution so that the essential preconditions to advance on the regional front could be fulfilled."