Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed confidence Monday a solution would be found to the Middle East crisis before the end of 2008. He also stressed the importance of reconciliation with Hamas.
"Before the end of 2008, we will have found the real solution we have been hoping for," Abbas told reporters after discussing ways to achieve a peaceful, lasting resolution to the Middle East crisis with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
He also said Hamas, which he expelled from the Palestinian government after Islamic militants violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, "is a part of the Palestinian people and cannot be separated. Nobody denies that."
"However, they have carried out a coup d'etat against the legitimate government that could divide our unity and dissolve the efforts of peace," Abbas said, acknowledging, however, that "we cannot move unless we work together" with Hamas.