Malaysia urges Palestinians to end rivalry

Malaysia's foreign minister urged Palestinian factions Thursday to set aside their rivalry, warning that a civil war would destroy their common goal of an independent state. "It is important for the Palestinians at present to demonstrate a sense of unity and cohesiveness," Syed Hamid Albar told reporters after meeting with members of a U.N. committee on Palestine. "Otherwise this is a weak point and their dream of seeing the birth of their state will not be achieved," he said. "External parties will take advantage of it if among themselves they are in a state of open conflict to the extent that it ends up in civil war."