Sunday, February 08, 2009 
06:39  Mecca time, 03:39  GMT     
News Middle East  
Abbas urges end to row with Hamas   
Abbas has rejected a Hamas call for a new body to represent the Palestinians 
[AFP]    The
Palestinian president has said his Fatah party and Hamas need to
resolve their differences and create a concensus government that can
reach peace with Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas, currently on a visit to Turkey, said on Saturday: "We
don't want a government that will allow Israel to continue its siege." He
rejected a call by Hamas for a new body to represent the Palestinians,
saying his Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) should remain "the
house of Palestinians".
"All organisations that wish to participate in the PLO must first
accept its statutes," Abbas told reporters in a joint press conference
with Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president, in Ankara on Saturday.
"Once a member of the PLO, a movement can always reform it from top to bottom 
if it holds a majority," he said.
Hamas is not a member of the PLO, which is made up of several Palestinian 
nationalist groups, with Fatah being the largest.
Gul appealed for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, saying it
was an unavoidable precondition for the eventual establishment of a
Palestinian state.
Arab initiative
The Palestinian president also renewed his call for Israel to accept
the Arab Peace Initiative set out in 2002 if it wants to resolve the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Abbas said that "Israel has no other choice than to accept the Arab peace plan".
He pointed to the initiative, revived in March 2007 at a summit in
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, as the best way forward in the
Middle East.
The initiative would see all Arab nations establish normal relations
with Israel in return for an Israeli pull-out from occupied lands and
the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem.
While citing "positive aspects" in the initiative, Israel never
formally accepted it, chiefly because it refers to a right of return
for Palestinians made refugees by the 1948 founding of the Jewish state.
Promoted by Saudi Arabia, the initiative was embraced by all Arab League member 
nations at a summit in Beirut in March 2002.
Abbas said Turkey, which is not a league member, supports it.  
 Source: Agencies   
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