Germany-UK talks focus on Mideast situation, Hamas

The German and British leaders stressed after talks in Berlin Friday that Hamas must renounce violence and recognize Israel, and they again expressed hopes that the dispute over Iran's nuclear program could be resolved through negotiations. In their second meeting since she took office in November, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Tony Blair said their talks focused the future of the European Union, as well as the situation in the Middle East. The two leaders insisted that Hamas, which won last month's Palestinian elections, renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist. Blair said members of the international community "respect" Hamas' election victory, "but if they need our help to make progress this is the only basis