Abbas announces intention to resume talks

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said he would resume peace talks with Israel, backing off a threat to boycott negotiations until Israel reaches a truce with Hamas militants in Gaza. "The peace process is a strategic choice and we have the intention of resuming the peace process," he said in a statement. He did not say when talks would restart, but visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Jerusalem that a US general overseeing implementation of "the road map" peace plan would hold his first joint meeting with Israelis and Palestinians next week. Abbas suspended talks earlier this week to protest Israel's military crackdown in Gaza. Earlier Wednesday, he said he would not resume talks until a truce was reached.