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The former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East said Tuesday that President-elect Barack Obama should engage with Hamas under certain conditions, and sooner rather than later.

Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni said if Obama hopes to forge a peace deal, he needs to do it at the beginning of his administration.

"You make a commitment that no matter what happens, you'll stick with it," Zinni said on CNN's "American Morning." "We have enough agreements in principle that never worked out. I would say -- start from the beginning, be determined, stick with it and don't repeat the mistakes of the past and the processes of the past that did not work." Read full article »

CNN's Ed Henry and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

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