ALEXANDRIA: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip was destructive to the quest for a Palestinian state and reiterated his rejection of any talks with the insurgent group.
Abbas made the comments after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, part of a flurry of meetings ahead of a US-sponsored peace conference set for this fall.
The United States is still working with Israel, the Palestinians and Arab nations to hammer out the agenda of the meeting, which the Arabs want to tackle substantive issues of the peace process.
The conference is part of a strategy aimed at pushing the peace process between Israel and Abbas and isolating Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip after days of heavy fighting with Abbas Fatah faction. Hamas has dismissed the conference.
What Hamas did was destructive, Abbas told reporters, referring to the Gaza takeover. Hamas helped all the enemies of the Palestinian people and those who don t want to a Palestinian state.
If Hamas wants any dialogue, it must reverse all what it did in Gaza Strip, Abbas said after his talks with Mubarak in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria.
Abbas met on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the West Bank town of Jericho. Olmert told Abbas he hopes to launch negotiations soon on establishing a Palestinian state, his clearest promise yet to tackle a final peace deal.
Last week, Abbas held talks in the West Bank with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Hamas seizure of Gaza split the Palestinian territories. The militant group is in control of the impoverished coastal strip, while Abbas has appointed a new government in the West Bank.
Hamas has said it does not want to rule Gaza on its own, calling for a dialogue with Fatah to form a new unity government and restructure the Palestinian security forces, which are dominated by Abbas faction. Associated Press