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Abbas to Olmert: stop unilateral steps

In his first reaction to the results of the Israeli parliamentary elections, Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas said on Wednesday that it would make no difference to the Palestinians unless Prime Minister-elect Ehud Olmert changed his policies, reports Reuters.

“This result will not change [anything] as long as Olmert… does not abandon the question of ‘unilateral agreements’,” ‘Abbas told reporters in Khartoum.

Ehud Olmert’s Qadima party won 28 seats in the 120-seat Israeli parliament, and became the biggest party, followed by the Labor Party with 20 seats.

In a statement distributed from the Arab League summit in Khartoum, ‘Abbas asserted on Tuesday that Israel is going to impose its unilateral solutions through seizing more than half of the West Bank and turning the rest into cantons, according to a report by the Palestinian official news agency WAFA.

‘Abbas mentioned that such Israeli practices, including closure of the Gaza Strip, contradict international law and prevent the implementation of U.S. President George Bush’s vision of the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state.

“We have agreed that negotiations based on implementing the U.N. resolutions” is the only path for achieving a total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories for comprehensive peace, he said.

‘Abbas also called on the Arab nations to form a delegation to the Quartet (U.S., EU, U.N. and Russia) in order to reactivate the peace process.