Mubarak, Abbas meet in Sharm El-Sheikh

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called Sunday on the next Israeli government to work with the Palestinians, who are set to be led by a Hamas-run cabinet from this week. Any Israeli government must cooperate with us and must not ignore the Palestinian side, Abbas said after talks with President Hosni Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. Israel has refused to have any dealings with a government led by Hamas, the Islamist group that has carried out dozens of suicide bombings, unless it renounces violence, honors past agreements and recognizes the Jewish state. But Abbas said he would not block the new Palestinian government from taking office despite his objections to the political platform of Hamas, which is branded a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States. (Hamas) has a different program to that of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization and in the short term that will hamper our work, Abbas added. I told the prime minister (Hamas Ismail Haniya) that he must change his program to prevent our people facing the specter of being marginalized internationally. Abbas, who is heading to Khartoum for the Arab summit opening Tuesday, also discussed the dire economic situation in the Palestinian territories, particularly the Gaza Strip. Israel is going to the polls on Tuesday in an election expected to be won by the Kadima party of acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has vowed to unilaterally set Israel s borders. AFP

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