Thursday, December 21, 2006

Abbas to meet Olmert after refusing to meet Haneyya

"Nazareth - Ehud Olmert, the Israeli premier, on Wednesday told a press conference that he would meet PA chief Mahmoud Abbas soon to discuss developments in the Palestinian arena.

The announcement followed the Israeli government's public declaration that it would back Abbas and his team in face of the Hamas-led PA government.

For his part, a Palestinian associate of Abbas told the Hebrew daily 'Ha'aretz' that the PA chief would meet Olmert within the few coming days probably after "Christmas" and before the American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's visit to the region scheduled in early January.

The source expected Olmert to offer a number of "goodwill incentives" such as releasing captives and delivering part of the PA money, frozen by Israel, to Abbas personally and not to the government.

Meanwhile, Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, the spokesman of the change and reform bloc in the PLC, reaffirmed rejection to any attempt to foil national accomplishments and national unanimity as achieved in the national document in favor of the Zionist project and American hegemony in the region.

Dr. Bardawil said in press statements that all Palestinian factions should persist in dialogue in order to form a national unity government.

He referred in this respect to PA premier Ismail Haneyya's speech that greatly contributed to calming things down in the Palestinian arena."

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