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Hamas says ready to hold talks with Abbas without prior conditions
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09:25, February 25, 2008

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The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Sunday said it is completely ready to deal with any Arab mediation to hold a dialogue with President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement if no prior conditions were set.

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, made the remarks in response to a Yemeni initiative aiming to bridge the gaps between the two rival movements and bring them back to the negotiating table.

Abu Zuhri said his movement "is completely ready for succeeding any Arab mediation to hold a dialogue between Hamas and Fatah," underlining that the dialogue should be one without prior conditions.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier presented the initiative, calling for ending Hamas control of Gaza and going forearly presidential and legislative elections in the Palestinian territories.

Abu Zuhri said that his movement "is ready to tackle and discuss all outstanding issues on the table of dialogue," adding "Hamas leadership is following up the initiative in details with the Yemeni leadership."

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had earlier said that Abbas welcomed the seven-point initiative presented by the Yemeni president, and expressed readiness to deal with it immediately.

Last June, Hamas ousted security forces loyal to Abbas and took control of the Gaza Strip. Abbas in return said no dialogue with the rival movement until it regrets "its coup on the Palestinian legitimate leadership."

Source: Xinhua

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