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Abbas says France backs his reconciliation plan with Hamas

04-22-2011 16:14 BJT

PARIS, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday his reconciliation plan with Hamas has won support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy during their meeting at the Elysee Palace.

Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to the media after his
meeting with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France,
April 21, 2011. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

Abbas said he told Sarkozy he would go to the Gaza Strip to meet Hamas leaders in a bid to establish a coalition government and choose a proper date for elections. The plans were backed by the French leader, he said.

In March, Abbas had said he was willing to accept Hamas leader Ismail Haneya's invitation to visit Gaza.

Abbas, the leader of Palestinian National Authority which is at odds with Hamas, has not visited Gaza since Hamas occupied the strip by force in 2007.

Prior to the Abbas-Sarkozy meeting, the French Foreign Ministry said Wednesday France believed Palestinians "have never been better prepared" to establish an independent state.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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