Abbas: Olmert 'serious' about agreement

PA chairman repeats claim of Israel-Hamas talks, urges group to "pluck up the courage and admit it."

October 28, 2007 09:43
1 minute read.
Abbas: Olmert 'serious' about agreement

olmert abbas 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

"[Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert is serious about reaching a deal but there are many disagreements over final status issues," the Kuwaiti newspaper Mishka al-Ray quoted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as saying Sunday. Abbas told the paper that he would renew negotiations with Hamas if the group went "back on the steps it took in the Gaza Strip." However, Abbas told the newspaper that the PA had information indicating that Hamas planned to attempt a takeover of the West Bank. The PA president said that the plot was destined to fail. Abbas reiterated his claim that Israel was holding talks with Hamas and called on the group to "pluck up the courage and admit it." Nevertheless, head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian parliament, Azam el-Ahmad, was less optimistic about the prospects of reaching an agreement with Israel, saying that negotiations had reached a dead end. "There has not been an agreement on any issue," said Ahmad, defining the outcome of the recent talks as a "big round zero." He went on to say that if the situation did not improve, the Annapolis conference would not take place, Israel Radio reported. Meanwhile, Al-Watan reported that Abbas might hold talks with President Shimon Peres and Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Turkey two weeks from now. The Palestinian ambassador to Turkey, Nabil Maaruf, told the Saudi newspaper that the three-way summit would focus on the Turkish initiative to establish an industrial park in northern Samaria or the southern Hebron hills.

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