U.S. Asks Arab Nations to Persuade Hamas on Israel

The Bush administration on Tuesday called on Arab leaders to encourage Hamas to deal with Israel.

On Monday, after a meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the crown prince of Bahrain said a Hamas-led Palestinian government had no alternative.

"They will be obliged to do that" if they want to solve the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said.

"Hurry up," he advised Hamas, which the United States and the European Union have pledged to boycott unless it abandons terrorism and accepts Israel and agreements Israel reached with the Palestinian Authority.

"Certainly we welcome those comments," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "And we would urge others throughout the Arab world to echo those sentiments."