U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that U.S. President Barack Obama's administration will not deal with any Palestinian government that fails to meet the principles for peace set forth by the international community, namely renouncing violence and recognizing Israel's right to exist.
"If the government complies with it, that is what we're looking for," the French news agency AFP quoted Clinton as saying.
Speaking before the House Appropriations Committee at a hearing on aid to the Palestinians, among other issues, the secretary of state said that she did not believe that rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas would strike a unity deal in the near future, but added that the U.S. wanted to be prepared for any scenario.
"No aid will flow to Hamas or any entity controlled by Hamas," she promised concerned lawmakers as she asked for $840 million dollars in supplemental funds for the Palestinians this year, AFP reported.
Hamas and Fatah have been bitterly divided since Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Egyptian efforts to mediate a unity deal between the two factions have so far been unsuccessful.
Clinton also took the opportunity to criticize her predecessors, calling the policy of the Bush administration on Iran a "failure."
She said that the Bush administration's failed eight-year effort to isolate Iran has only increased worries about Iranian influence. She described the Bush approach as one of attempting total isolation of the Iranian government.
"The Bush policy did not deter Iran one bit in its ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons and to support terror organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas," she told the committee, adding that the Islamic republic's nuclear program has continued unabated.
The Obama administration is trying a different approach by offering to engage in dialogue with the Iranians.
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