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Abbas renews calls for Palestinian statehood alongside Israel
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19:52, August 02, 2007

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Thursday for creating a viable independent Palestinian state to live in peace alongside Israel.

"We will keep going this way to reach the independent statehood, " Abbas told a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in West Bank city of Ramallah.

Abbas revealed that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has signed a 80-million-U.S.-dollar-worth deal with the United States to bolster the security services which collapsed during the Gaza fighting between Hamas and Fatah.

"We also want to end the security anarchy, the volatile security situation and to secure stability for our people and make them live a well-off life," Abbas added.

Abbas said he also discussed with Rice the "hard circumstances in Gaza Strip following the 'coup on the legitimacy'."

Rice, who is on a four-day regional tour, arrived here on Thursday in her first visit to the West Bank since Islamic Hamas movement seized control of Gaza Strip and captured pro-Abbas security headquarters.

The international community resumed direct aid to the PNA after Abbas sacked Hamas government and formed a new Hamas-free administration.

Rice's tour, which also took her to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel, is seen as an effort to lay the ground for an international meeting on Middle East peace process later this year proposed by U.S President George W. Bush.

Source: Xinhua

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