Olmert meets Abbas; demands disarming Hamas

Finance Minister Ehud Olmert (Kadima) met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during a summit of world leaders in Barcelona Sunday night. In their meeting, Olmert asked the Palestinian leader to disarm Hamas. The finance minister reiterated Hamas's defiance of the peace process, and stressed Israel's objection to its participation in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections. According to Israel Radio, the two considered examining ways in which Israel and the Palestinians could cooperate economically. The Barcelona summit was expected to release a statement condemning terrorism, and expressing commitment to achieving a comprehensive, lasting peace in the Middle East. However the representatives of Arab countries insisted that the fight against terror not interfere with people's right to fight against occupation.