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UN's Ban urges Abbas not to abandon Israel talks

08 february 2012, 10:46
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. ©AFP
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. ©AFP
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas not to abandon talks with Israel after his Fatah movement signed a deal on governing with rival Hamas, AFP reports.

Ban and Abbas spoke by telephone about the accord signed in Qatar, aimed at ending long-running discord between the two Palestinian movements, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The UN secretary general "pointed out that the two tracks -- of Palestinian reconciliation and negotiations with Israel -- should not be seen as contradictory and mutually exclusive," the spokesman said.

Ban added that the United Nations has "consistently supported Palestinian reconciliation within the framework of the PLO principles and under the leadership of President Abbas."

The so-called "Doha Declaration" is the latest attempt by the rival Palestinian movements to implement a reconciliation deal signed last April.

The declaration calls for Abbas to lead an interim consensus government of "independent technocrats" to oversee reconstruction efforts in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and to "facilitate the implementation of presidential and parliamentary elections."

The Middle East peace process ground to a halt in late 2010.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas had to choose to "abandon the path of peace" if he implements a reconciliation deal with Hamas.

Ban said last week during a visit to the region that time was "running out" for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, but he was not giving up.

He praised efforts by Jordan's King Abdullah II to organize preliminary talks between the two sides this month, though there is little sign of progress.

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