March 24th, 2008 04:32 EST
Hamas Hinders Middle East Peace Talks
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says Hamas, with support form Iran and Syria, is trying to hinder peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem Monday, Cheney said there is evidence that Iran and Syria are supporting Hamas. He accused the two nations of doing everything they can to, in his words, "torpedo" the peace process.
Cheney spoke after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for breakfast. The vice president is to travel to the Turkish capital of Ankara later today for the last stop on his nine-day regional tour.
Cheney is expected to ask Turkey for help in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and with negotiations to curtail Iran's nuclear program. Ankara has strong ties with Iran and relies on the nation for much of its oil.
On Sunday, Mr. Cheney held a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The vice president told reporters a Mideast peace deal would require painful concessions by both Israel and the Palestinians.
Cheney arrived at Mr. Abbas' headquarters in Ramallah after talks in Jerusalem with Israeli President Shimon Peres and other officials.
At a news conference with Mr. Peres, Cheney said the Bush administration is dedicated to moving the peace process forward. The vice president said Washington also is dealing with emerging regional threats to both Israel and the United States.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.