Former US President Jimmy Carter met with State Department and National Security officials before meeting Hamas leaders in the Middle East, the State Department said on Thursday.So there's a good chance that Carter's call for Obama to take Hamas off the terror list was a charade known by the State Department ahead of time - and possibly even by the White House, which is already thinking in that direction.
According to a statement released by the State Department, Carter met with Near Eastern Affairs Bureau Deputy Assistant Secretary David Hale and National Security staff. This statement was made in response to a question asked at a Washington press briefing on Wednesday about Carter’s meetings with Hamas leaders in Gaza on Tuesday.
On his recent Middle East trip, Carter met the exiled chief of Hamas’ powerful Political Bureau, Khalid Mash’al in Damascus, and then met Ismail Haniyeh, the elected Palestinian Prime Minister, in Gaza. US officials had stressed that the former president held these meetings as a private citizen only.
Thursday’s announcement now confirms that there has been some official contact between Carter and the current US government vis-à-vis Middle East policy.
It appears that things are going to get worse.