Abbas, Olmert ready to resume talks
During the visit of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed to resume negotiations.
Following talks with Blair in Ramallah on Sunday, Abbas said he wished to express the Palestinian "readiness to resume serious negotiations fully." He said that he was "ready to meet Prime Minister Olmert without prior conditions, and we are ready to begin immediately the preparations for this meeting."
Abbas' statement followed a similar comment by Olmert after his meeting with the British leader on Saturday.
Blair said Sunday in Ramallah that the international community "must re-commit" to the two-state solution and to the road map. "For the past months, the situation has gone backwards and not forwards," Blair said. But now, he added, "there is window of opportunity, even if it does seem very bleak."
The British leader also welcomed moves by Fatah movement and the ruling Hamas party to form a unity government. "We are serious about putting together a national unity government to put an end to the siege imposed on us," Abbas said.
Meanhwhile, Olmert said Sunday that Israel must resume talks with the Palestinians, and create a "new horizon" regarding ties with its neighbors. "The time has come to renew the diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians, in order to create a new horizon not just with the Palestinians, but with all the states in the region," Olmert told the weekly cabinet meeting, according to Haaretz.