"We must not kill the peace process," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told President Shimon Peres on Wednesday when he telephoned
to express his condolences on the passing of the president's wife, Sonia Peres.
"We have to stand like a wall against those provocative forces that seek to
delegitimize the Palestinian Authority and thereby derail the peace process. We
have to stand together against such forces," said Abbas, as he called on Israel
to join in a firm united front with the PA.
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Peres has received
condolence visits, telephone calls, e-mails and faxes from leading personalities
of various faiths and nationalities from all over the world since the death of
his wife last Thursday.
It has been a very difficult time for him, not
only because of his personal loss, but because in the weeks preceding his period
of grief and mourning, he made a point of visiting the families of the 44 people
who lost their lives in the Carmel fires.
In each case, he sat with the
mourners, listened to stories about their loved ones, comforted mothers, wives
and sisters as they wept and found common ground with male mourners to whom he
spoke words of empathy and encouragement.
Peres was supposed to meet this
week in Davos with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, but cancelled the trip due
to the week-long mourning period.
Medvedev, despite this week's terrorist attack
in Moscow's international airport, did go to Davos where he intended to woo
investments in Russia's economy.
The tragic events of this week may put a
blight on that effort.
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