Abbas suggests to Hamas he'll be flexible in talks

February 18, 2009 13:20

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday he's approaching reconciliation talks with his political rivals from Hamas with an "open heart." The Egyptian-brokered talks are to begin Sunday in Cairo. Abbas told supporters that "we will be going to the national dialogue with open hearts." His tone stood in contrast to the previous acrimonious exchanges with Hamas. Despite the apparent good-will, power-sharing talks have failed repeatedly and it's not clear if they can succeed now. Hamas wants Abbas to release hundreds of Hamas prisoners before the talks. However, it's not clear if such a release is a precondition, as it was in November when Hamas walked away from reconciliation talks at the last minute.

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