(dpa) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said after talks with Egyptian leaders in Cairo Tuesday that efforts were underway to ensure that humanitarian help reached the Gaza Strip.
Answering a question about whether the US would accept the militant group Hamas as part of the Palestinian problem, Rice said Hamas has not met international criteria.
If Hamas was to renounce violence and show commitment to living in peace side by side with Israel, then the situation would change.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said Hamas was part of the "Palestinian equation."
Dealing with Hamas was, therefore, important and efforts should continue to convince them to join the peace process, Abul-Gheit said.
If Hamas renounces violence, then this will pave the way for its participation in the peace process, Abul-Gheit said.