Aide: Abbas wants US to promote talks with Israel

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has asked US President George W. Bush to work toward a renewal of internationally-backed peace negotiations with Israel, Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Wednesday. In an interview with the "Voice of Palestine" radio station, Rabbo said that preparations were underway for a meeting next week between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, which will include Arab and international officials. He added that the PA was capable of handling the situation in the Gaza Strip and putting an end to the "ongoing drama" there.