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Ongoing Talks With Israel Center on Fundamental Issues, Says Palestinian PM


Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says the Palestinians and Israel have been holding discussions on political issues. But he says they have not been negotiating a final solution to the conflict between the two sides.

Mr. Fayyad Thursday told foreign reporters that the discussions are on fundamental issues that must be resolved in order to advance the peace process.

Israeli President Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met for talks August 6, but Israel says they did not discuss so-called final-status issues, such as setting a border and dismantling Jewish settlements.

Mr. Fayyad also said that the existence of armed militias harms the Palestinian cause, and called for the complete disarmament of those groups.

He also said elections are not currently feasible, but that they will take place in both the West Bank and Gaza territories.

President Abbas, leader of the Fatah movement, appointed Mr. Fayyad prime minister in June after rival Hamas violently seized control of Gaza.

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