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Tags: qatar | hostage deal | senate | israel | hamas

Senators Ask Biden to Bring Qatar Into Hostage Talks

By    |   Friday, 22 December 2023 04:15 PM EST

A Republican senator and a Democrat senator each called on President Joe Biden to push Qatar into forcing the terrorist group Hamas to negotiate a new deal for hostages in Gaza.

In a letter shared with Axios on Friday, Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., urged Biden to take advantage of Qatar's reputation for mediating prisoner exchanges and cordiality with Hamas.

"Time is of the essence to free the hostages — and every diplomatic option must be on the table to secure their release," they wrote. "Given Qatar's unique ability to influence Hamas, it is imperative that Doha understands our expectation that negotiations result in the release of all remaining hostages."

The letter came after Central Intelligence Agency Director Bill Burns' meeting Monday with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Mossad head David Barnea to discuss a potential deal.

While the meeting stoked hopes for a possible agreement before Christmas, Biden quickly shot down hopes two days later, telling reporters that he does not expect a new hostage deal anytime soon.

A source familiar with Qatari government affairs told Axios that the letter had a threatening tone towards the country, implying it could "do more to help with hostage releases, but chooses not to."

"All our negotiating partners, and especially the U.S. and Israel, understand that Qatar is a mediator. We do not control Hamas," the source said. "They also know that Qatar has been, and continues to be, fully committed to getting all the hostages out."

Qatar was previously involved in an Israeli prisoner exchange with Hamas that involved the exchange of over 100 hostages held by Hamas for 240 Palestinians, primarily women and children.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A Republican senator and a Democrat senator each called on President Joe Biden to push Qatar into forcing the terrorist group Hamas to negotiate a new deal for hostages in Gaza.
qatar, hostage deal, senate, israel, hamas
280
2023-15-22
Friday, 22 December 2023 04:15 PM
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