Merkel: Palestinian gov't must recognize Israel

February 23, 2007 12:24

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed a proposed Palestinian coalition Friday - but firmly underlined in talks with President Mahmoud Abbas the European Union stance that any new government must recognize Israel. Abbas, on a European tour to build support for an eventual lifting of a crippling international aid embargo, said Palestinians were suffering under the cutoff, but that they hold a vague hope the new government will satisfy the donors' conditions. Merkel said the power-sharing deal reached between Abbas' Fatah faction and the militantly Islamic Hamas was positive because it stopped the fighting between the two that cost some 130 lives.

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