Egypt urges talks between Israel and Hamas

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged Israel and Hamas on Monday to talk to each other once the radical Palestinian group forms a new government, saying both sides must change hardline positions to avoid further violence and chaos. Mubarak also appealed the international community to continue financial aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government, declaring the cutting off such support would cause further suffering and increase terrorism in the region. At a meeting in Cairo earlier this month, Egypt and the rest of the Arab League countries urged the Hamas leadership to adhere to a 2002 Arab initiative that suggested a trade of peace for land with the Jewish state. The Islamic militant group Hamas swept Palestinian parliamentary elections Jan. 25, and Mubarak said Israel must recognize the democratic process that lead to its victory but Hamas, too, needed to make concessions, including abiding by agreements signed by previous Palestinian leaders with Israel.