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Home >> World
UPDATED: 22:31, March 08, 2006
Abbas calls on Hamas to change political attitudes
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday called on Hamas to change its current political attitudes.

"There has to be a change in Hamas political views. It is now in the authority and it should deal with all the Palestinian commitments made before the international community," Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.

Abbas made the call in a news conference held at his Ramallah headquarters following a meeting with visiting Slovenian President Janez Drnovek.

However, Abbas said that Hamas can't change its views and political attitudes immediately.

"It should be gradual," Abbas told reporters, denying that there would be political differences in the political programs between his office and a new Hamas-led cabinet yet to be formed.

Abbas is scheduled to arrive in Gaza later Wednesday to meet with leaders of different Palestinian factions and political powers on the current Palestinian political situation.

Palestinian sources at Abbas office said that Abbas might meet with Ismail Haneya, the Hamas prime minister-designate who received a letter of commission from Abbas on Feb. 21 to form the new cabinet.

For his part, Drnovek urged Hamas to respect those signed agreements with Israel.

"There is a new situation after the legislative election and Hamas is for the first time responsible and in the government," said the visiting president, stressing that Hamas should change its political speech.

"It has to deal with Israel and Hamas should find peace partners," said Drnovek.

Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, has been behind most of suicide bombing attacks against Israel since the second Palestinian uprising in 2000.

Israel has indicated that it would not deal with a Hamas-led Palestinian government after Hamas won a parliamentary election in January, if the radical group continues to call for the destruction of Israel.

Source: Xinhua

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