Abbas meets with Islamic Jihad in Syria, but no sign of Hamas encounter

The leader of the Islamic Jihad says he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Syria, in the latest incremental step to reconcile the divided Palestinian factions. Ramadan Abdullah Shallah says that Abbas would be open to a national dialogue after further consultations and preparation. Shallah did not, however, carry any message from the Islamist Hamas group, Abbas' chief rival. On the second day of Abbas' visit to Syria, it is looking more unlikely that he will meet Hamas officials. In comments to reporters after his meeting Monday, Shallah says he told Abbas that peace talks with Israel will lead nowhere. He says resistance should continue.