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Palestinian, French Presidents Meet in Paris


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continued his push Saturday to get an international economic embargo on his Palestinian Authority lifted.

Mr. Abbas's latest effort came in a meeting with French President Jacques Chirac in Paris.

After the meeting, Mr. Abbas told reporters the new Palestinian unity government should not be subjected to the aid embargo.

The Palestinian president did not give any indication that European nations had decided to resume aid.

On Friday, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said some European countries had already decided to resume aid to the Palestinian government.

Diplomats from the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States - the International Quartet - have said the Palestinian government must recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and honor previous peace deals before sanctions will be lifted.

Meshaal declined to name the countries at a Friday news conference in Cairo, one stop on his tour seeking to promote the new Palestinian unity government and urge an end to international sanctions.

Mr. Abbas, leader of the Fatah party, has said the new government is committed to rejecting violence and accepting previous accords. But he said the new power sharing deal does not include recognition of Israel, a condition rejected by Hamas.

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