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Palestinian President Warns Hamas-Led Government


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he has the legal right to dismiss the newly-elected Hamas-led government. But he says he does not want to use that power and still holds hope Hamas will renounce violence and negotiate with Israel.

Mr. Abbas spoke Monday on Turkish television. He is in Ankara for talks on the stalled Middle East peace process and the impact of a freeze on aid to the Hamas-led government.

The United States and the European Union cut off direct aid to the Palestinian government earlier this year after Hamas refused to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

Today, Mr. Abbas said there is a threat of hunger in the Palestinian territories if economic assistance does not come soon.

Turkey maintains close ties with Israel and the Palestinians, and has offered to mediate their long-standing conflict.

Mr. Abbas is to hold talks today with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Denis Baykal. He visits Norway, Finland and France later this week.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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