The Associated Press
February 23, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas says Hamas should be part of the new government and honour international commitments in the peace process.

Abbas says a new cabinet including Hamas should continue the peace process on the basis of previous agreements such as "the existence of two states and no more building of settlements in Gaza".

Abbas spoke on Monday after meeting Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

Efforts to form a unity government have failed in the past. Reconciliation talks are scheduled to begin in Egypt later this week.

Gaza will remain internationally isolated and Hamas will remain sidelined unless it allows Abbas a foothold in Gaza.

Abbas has overstayed his term as president, which ended in January, and needs a partnership with Hamas to shore up his dwindling political legitimacy.


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