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Roundup: Abbas urges Hamas bring Gaza conditions to normal
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08:07, August 09, 2007

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wrapped up his two-day visit to Egypt Wednesday afternoon after discussing the latest developments in the Palestinian arena with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Following the talks in the northern Egyptian port city of Alexandria with Mubarak, Abbas said that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) should bring situations in the Gaza Strip back to normal before any dialogue with it resumes, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

The movement knows very well how this should be done, Abbas said at the Ras el-Teen Palace in Alexandria following talks with Mubarak earlier in the day.

Hamas' action in Gaza helped the enemies of the Palestinian people and those who don't want to see a Palestinian state, Abbas said, describing what Hamas did in Gaza as "destructive."

Abbas made it clear that there would be no dialogue with Hamas before the situation in Gaza returns to what is was before the movement seized control of the coast strip in mid-June.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June after it defeated Abbas' Fatah movement and his security forces. Abbas, in turn, sacked the Hamas-led coalition government and formed a Western-backed government, which rules the West Bank from Ramallah.

As a result of the infighting in June, Palestinian territories are now politically divided into two parts--the Gaza Strip under the sacked unity government led by Ismail Haneya of Hamas and the West Bank under the caretaker government headed by Salam Fayyad.

Abbas noted that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is enforcing its security bodies in preparation for resuming its effective control of the strip, according to MENA.

On Tuesday, Haneya expressed his readiness to quit the premier post if such a move could help resume dialogue with Abbas' Fatah movement.

"If the cost for national dialogue is the (premier) post, we are ready to pay this price," Haneya told journalists at his office in the Gaza Strip.

He said the Gaza takeover and the successive crackdown against Hamas people in West Bank by pro-Abbas forces were past events, underscoring that Hamas and Fatah are "key pillars for any Palestinian political regime."

Abbas, who arrived in Alexandria Tuesday evening on a two-day visit to Egypt, held two sessions of talks Wednesday with Mubarak on the latest developments in the Palestinian territory.

During the meeting, Abbas briefed Mubarak the outcome of his recent talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Abbas and Olmert held a meeting on Monday in the West Bank city of Jericho. It is the first time an Israeli premier holds a meeting with a Palestinian leader in the Palestinian controlled territory.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday described the summit meeting between Abbas and Olmert in Jericho as " positive."

Talking about a U.S.-proposed international conference on Mideast peace, Abbas said the Palestinian and Israeli sides should reach a working framework before taking part in that meeting, which was reportedly scheduled for November in the United States, according to the report.

On July 16, U.S. President George W. Bush proposed to hold the international conference that will group Israel, the Palestinians and some neighboring Arab states to help resume the stalled Mideast peace talks.

According to MENA report, Abbas said there is no contradiction between Bush's two-state solution and the revived Arab Peace Initiative, as both seek the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, an end to Israeli occupation and a proper handling of the refugee issue.

Source: Xinhua



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