Mashaal: We can talk to US president | Middle East | Jerusalem Post

Hamas is interested in opening a dialogue with the Obama administration because its policies are much better than those of former US president George W. Bush, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday.

Mashaal also denied that Hamas was seeking to impose strict Islamic rule in the Gaza Strip, saying religion should not be enforced through coercion.

The Damascus-based leader’s remarks came in an interview with the Qatari newspaper Al-Watan.

“But we want to see not only a change of language, but also a change of policies on the ground. We have said that we are prepared to cooperate with the US or any other international party that would enable the Palestinians to get rid of occupation.”

Mashaal stressed, however, that his statements did not mean that Hamas would accept the demands of the Quartet to recognize Israel, renounce violence and honoring all previous agreements reached between Palestinians and Israelis.

“We are certainly not worried about our relations with Iran or the support that the Iranians give us,” he said. “It’s no secret that Iran is one of many Arab and Islamic parties that have been supporting Hamas.”

via Mashaal: We can talk to US president | Middle East | Jerusalem Post.

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