Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he endorses Israel's acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in elections this month.
In an interview published Wednesday in Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Abbas said that Olmert's victory would be a positive outcome for the March 28 national balloting.
"We'll respect the will of the Israeli people," he told the paper, adding, "I hope Olmert wins."
"I know him well. I believe that with him we could work in a productive way," said Abbas, who is widely known as Abu Mazen.