U.S. talks with Hamas are “almost inevitable” if President Obama is reelected, John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, declared in a radio interview today.
“I think that’s almost inevitable,” Bolton told Aaron Klein on his WABC Radio show in response to a question about whether the former diplomat thinks the U.S. will engage the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas during a second Obama term.
Continued Bolton: “I think if you look at the record of the Obama administration in its first three years and the unrelenting pressure that they put on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority, that once freed from the prospect of ever having to face the voters again … I think it’s going to be Katy bar the door!”
Bolton, now a member of Mitt Romney’s campaign, said that since “many Europeans” already believe that Israel should negotiate with Hamas, the Obama administration “would come to the same conclusion.”
“I don’t know why, once any fear of political consequence is removed, why [the Obama administration] would be any different in that context then they have been in so many others,” Bolton said.
He continued: “It used to be the American position that we don’t negotiate with terrorists. Well, we are doing that now with the Taliban. We are doing that with the government in Iran, which is not only terrorist, but [also] is pursuing nuclear weapons.”
“So Hamas is an easy case, I think under that perspective, for the Obama administration,” he added.
Hamas is on the State Departments list of official terrorist organizations. The group is responsible for scores of violent attacks targeting civilians. Its official charter calls for the destruction of Israel.
This past week, Hamas claimed it has been holding secret political talks with five European Union member states in recent months.
Hamas member Osama Hamdan told the Associated Press last week that talks with European government officials focus on Hamas positions toward Israel as well as Middle East regional dialogue.
The AP reported Hamdan would not name the countries. Three Hamas officials in Gaza, however, claimed that Britain, France and Holland are among them, the AP reported.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year said U.S. talks with Hamas are ruled out unless the Islamist group renounces violence, recognizes Israel and affirms it will abide by past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
The Bolton interview can be heard at KleinOnline.com.