Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama said he "does not agree" with former President Jimmy Carter's decision to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Syria until the party renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel's right to exist and abides by past agreements.
However, he previously has stated that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if elected president. Meeting with adversaries does not include Hamas, he told ABC News because Hamas does not recognize Israel. He did not explain his views on Ahmadinejad, who has called for "wiping Israel off the map."
Sen. Obama explained, "I think that it is entirely legitimate to make distinctions between those who are heads of state, heads of established countries and those who have advocated terrorism."