Erekat: Abbas will stop talking unity with Hamas

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will no longer pursue unity talks with the militant Hamas group and instead will convene a supreme committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to decide how to proceed, a top Abbas aide said Thursday. Saeb Erekat made the comment shortly after Abbas told a press conference in the West Bank town of Jericho that such unity talks had reached a "dead end." "In my opinion if the president says this it means he personally will not pursue this any longer," Erekat told The Associated Press. "He will summon the PLO Executive Committee, or leadership, and study the options, anything short of a civil war." Abbas has been attempting to form a unity government with Hamas, in power since March, as a way of ending a crippling international aid boycott and restarting long-stalled peace talks with Israel.