Abbas: Palestinians have nothing to lose
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated late Thursday his commitment to proceed with the direct negotiations with Israel called for by the Quartet, saying the Palestinians will lose nothing if Israel failed to respond to these negotiations. Abu Mazen said after meeting with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa that if Israel agreed to be positive in these negotiations, the Palestinians would welcome peace, saying "we want peace and we have nothing to lose."
With regard to the position of Palestinian factions who oppose the direct negotiations, Abbas said: "We respect other opinions as part of our of democracy."
Abbas expressed his willingness to meet with the leadership of Hamas if they agree to sign the proposed Egyptian reconciliation document between Fatah and Hamas. He said in this context: "We always tell them to go and sign the agreement and tomorrow we will join the Government, the government of national unity, then we go to elections and leave the people to decide via the ballot box.