Abbas calls for a deal with Hamas

February 23, 2009 14:17


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that Hamas should be part of the new government and honor international commitments in the peace process. Abbas said a new cabinet including Hamas should continue the peace process on the basis of previous agreements such as "the existence of two states and no more building of settlements." Abbas spoke after meeting Czech President Vaclav Klaus. Efforts to form a unity government have failed in the past. Reconciliation talks are scheduled to begin in Egypt later this week. Gaza will remain internationally isolated and Hamas will remain sidelined unless it allows Abbas a foothold in Gaza. Abbas has overstayed his term as president, which ended in January, and needs a partnership with Hamas to shore up his dwindling political legitimacy. Klaus, representing also the EU as president of a country that currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said Palestinian unity was the key to any meaningful talks in the future.

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