London, Nov 8 : Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, has picked up on Barack Obama's offer to talk to America's enemies, and said he is ready to talk to the US President elect. Speaking in his refuge in the Syrian capital Damascus, Meshaal gave his reaction to Sky News on Obama's election as the 44th president of the United States.
"There is no doubt that the recent American election is a big change when you get an American president with African roots. It's a big change - political and psychological - and it is noteworthy and I congratulate President Obama," he said.
"But as a result of the election and the change, he should know he has duties to the United States and in the whole world and in hotspots especially in the Middle East," Meshaal added.
The leader of the Palestinian militant movement picked up on Obama's offer to talk to America's enemies and threw down this gauntlet for the new President-elect, Sky News reported. "Yes we are ready for dialogue with Obama and with the new American administration with an open mind, on the basis that the American administration respects our rights and our options," said Meshaal.
Asked why America should talk to a movement whose charter is committed to the obliteration of Israel, Meshaal insisted it had no choice.
"The American administration, if they want to deal with the region, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, they have no other option than deal with Hamas because we are a real force on the ground, effective," he said.
"And we are a movement that won a majority of votes in the election. Second of all, it's not right that Hamas poses any danger to anyone."
Under the Bush administration, America refused to talk to Hamas until it recognises Israel and renounces violence.