Abbas to meet Hamas to discuss forming government

January 30, 2006 17:18


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Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he planned to meet with leaders from Hamas in the next two weeks to discuss forming a new government in the wake of its landslide election victory. "I will definitely meet the Hamas leadership to form the coming government, and I hope this will not be more than two more weeks," he told reporters after he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Despite the victory of Hamas, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist, the Palestinians remain committed to the peace process with Israel, Abbas said he told Merkel. "We reiterated our committment to the peace process through negotiations and according to international legitimacy," he said he told her. "Our main goal as Palestinian people is to reach an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital to live in peace beside Israel."

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