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Palestinian President Abbas
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Abbas to Hamas: Let's talk
Abbas calls for talks with Hamas government, denounces Obama's remarks on Jerusalem
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Wednesday for renewed dialogue with Hamas. This followed months of his insisting that Hamas must first relinquish control of Gaza.

 

Abbas gave a broadcast speech to his people on Wednesday evening. Referring to the latest attempt to bridge the rift, he called for "a national dialogue to implement the Yemeni initiative in all its elements, to end the internal division that harms our people, (our) cause."

 

Abbas said if the talks succeed, "I will call for new legislative and presidential elections."

 

The Palestinian President also rejected Barack Obama's call on Wednesday for Jerusalem to be the undivided capital of Israel and repeated his demand for a Palestinian capital in the city.

 

"This statement is totally rejected," Abbas declared during his speech. "The whole world knows that holy Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 and we will not accept a Palestinian state without having Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state."

 

He said that everything possible must be done in order to reach an all-inclusive peace agreement, far from the Israeli settlement policy, in order to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

 

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu commended the call for talks. "We welcome this call by the President Abbas to launch a national dialogue, and we consider it a positive step," he said.

 

For the past year, Abbas had insisted he would only talk to Hamas once it steps aside in Gaza. 

 

Ali Waked contributed to this report

 

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