This tidbit just appeared in Robin Wright’s recent reporting on the Annapolis Summit in an article titled “Iran: The Uninvited Wildcard in Mideast Talks“:
Iran will still have leverage in the event of peace, Arab officials concede. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said yesterday that any peace agreement would eventually have to include Hamas, since it controls Gaza and half the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, the two major Palestinian parties — Hamas and Fatah, which controls the West Bank — would need to join a national unity government, he said.
An agreement signed by Israeli and Palestinian leaders would need ratification by their respective parliaments, and Hamas still controls the Palestinian parliament.
“Unless you bring Hamas in tune with what is happening on the peace side, you are really not fulfilling a basic requirement,” Faisal said. “One man cannot make peace; not even half a people can make peace,” he told a roundtable of U.S. journalists. “There has to be consensus about peace among the Palestinians for this to go smoothly.”
I just thought it worth noting that people ranging from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to former New Jersey Governor and Bush administration cabinet member Christine Todd Whitman (who headed the National Democratic Institute election monitoring mission of the 2005 Palestinian elections) to former US Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki to former National Security Advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft to former Senators Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Gary Hart, Lincoln Chafee, Larry Pressler, Birch Bayh and many others from both sides of the aisle agree with the Saudi Foreign Minister.
— Steve Clemons