US urges Russia to back Quartet's demands on Hamas

The US on Thursday did not react directly to the Russian decision to invite Hamas leaders to Moscow, but pointed out that any country having contacts with Hamas members must stress the decisions of the Quartet and the demands the international community presented to the organization. Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East David Welch said in a briefing in Washington on Thursday that the US "would expect any meeting that occurs with any Palestinian representatives, including Hamas, would emphasize these principles." Welch added that Russia, as a member of the Quartet, had agreed to demand from the Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce violence, disarm its terror group and adopt all accords already signed with Israel.