Abbas committed to negotiations with Israel

Published on Jan 27, 2006 10:22 AM IST

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he would start immediate consultations to start a new government.

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None | ByAssociated Press, Ramallah

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he was committed to negotiations with Israel and said he would start immediate consultations to start a new government.

Abbas also suggested that future negotiations with Israel would be conducted through the Palestine Liberation Organisation, a possible bypass to a Hamas-led government.

The PLO was founded as the umbrella group of Palestinian organisations several decades ago, but its importance has withered since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

Abbas is leader of the PLO, in addition to his role as Palestinian Authority president.

"We are going to reactivate the role of the PLO," Abbas said.

He did not specifically refer to Hamas' sweeping election victory, confirmed in near-complete election results on Thursday, but said he remained committed to previous peace deals with Israel and the US-backed "road map" peace plan, which calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

"I am committed to implementing the programme on which you elected me a year ago," he said in a televised speech.

"It is a programme based on negotiations and peaceful settlement with Israel," he added.

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