Saturday, June 07, 2008

Haniyeh on the phone with Suleiman

GAZA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Deposed Prime Minister of Hamas Ismail Haneya on Saturday phoned Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman to discuss recent developments regarding Palestinian internal dialogue.

A statement issued by Haneya's office said that Egypt has encouraged the possible resumption of the Palestinian dialogue and stressed that it should be sponsored by Arabs.

The development was made after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he is ready for talks with Hamas. Since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip by force a year ago, Abbas bans any contacts with Hamas which kept ruling the territory.

According to the statement, Haneya and Suleiman also talked about Egypt's efforts to broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip and the reopening of Rafah crossing point.

Meanwhile, an aide to President Abbas said it was too early to say that Egypt was going to host the Palestinian national talks if resumed.

Nemer Hamad, Abbas' political advisor, said that a newly-formed committee to follow up the dialogue has taken on its tasks Friday, but there was no clear date when the dialogue will start.

Hamad also denied reports that Abbas' call for dialogue was made because peace talks with Israel hit a deadlock, saying "Abbas called for the dialogue because a year has passed since Hamas forcibly took over Gaza and the living conditions of the people there deteriorated."

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