Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday supported the Bush administration's policy of shunning contacts with Hamas. The senator has said he would disagree with President George W. Bush's stance of declining to talk to some other Mideast leaders but that stance does not apply to Hamas leaders.
According to Obama, in the past he was willing to meet with leaders with whom the Bush administration strongly disagrees, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, he stressed his willingness to meet with foes "does not include Hamas."
"You can't negotiate with somebody who does not recognize the right of a country to exist so I understand why Israel doesn't meet with Hamas," Obama told reporters, according to Reuters.
"I do think it is important to us to try to jump-start the peace process," Obama added. "It has been under enormous strain of late."