Abbas, Mashaal fail to reach agreement on gov't

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal failed on Sunday to resolve an increasingly bitter dispute and form a unity government. But Abbas and Mashaal said the two sides had "achieved major progress" during their meeting - the first since July 2005 - and hoped to continue talks on forming a coalition government within the next two weeks, according to a joint statement. "There are still points of disagreement, but we will try to resolve them through a national dialogue until we form a national unity government," Mashaal said during a press conference with Abbas in Damascus.