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Abbas: Any New Palestinian Government Would Recognize Israel


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says any new Palestinian government would recognize Israel.

Speaking Thursday to the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Abbas said a future Palestinian government would honor all past agreements committed to by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

He referred to letters between the Palestinians and Israelis in which the P.L.O agreed to recognize Israel, renounce violence and commit to talks to create an independent Palestinian state next to Israel.

Mr. Abbas' moderate Fatah party and the ruling Hamas party have proposed forming a Palestinian unity government. Hamas' charter calls for Israel's destruction.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she will visit the Middle East soon as part of efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Rice gave no date for her trip while speaking to reporters Thursday after a U.N. Security Council session on the Middle East.

Earlier this week, President Bush told the U.N. General Assembly he had named Rice to lead a new diplomatic push in the Middle East.

At the Security Council session, Rice urged progress toward a Palestinian unity government that will meet international terms for dialogue with Israel.

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

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