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Carter: Hamas Eager To Renew Talks for Shalit’s Release

Former American President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that Hamas was interested in renewing negotiations for a prisoner swap deal in exchange for captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

?They let us know? they are very eager to proceed,? Carter told reporters in East Jerusalem several days after meeting Hamas officials in Syria.

Top Hamas official Musa Abu Marzuq confirmed Saturday reports recently denied by the Hamas party that the German mediator, Gerhard Conrad, visited the coastal enclave two weeks ago in a bid to resume the frozen negotiations.

?They are very glad that the German negotiator has been back on the scene lately and that Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has made some positive statements about a prisoner exchange,? Carter said, adding that ?they maintained that they are very eager to have a swap but they are demanding the release of some prisoners that are not acceptable to the Israeli negotiators.?

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