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Blair hopes for P.A. breakthrough

Tony Blair voiced hope for Israeli rapprochement with “sensible” Hamas leaders in the Palestinian Authority. “It’s far easier to deal with the situation in Palestine if there is a national unity government,” Blair told Parliament ahead of his meeting Wednesday with visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He said he is still hoping for a breakthrough between Israel and the new coalition between Abbas’ Fatah faction and the governing Hamas. At a joint news conference after the meeting, Blair insisted on P.A. recognition of Israel and praised Abbas’ commitment to peace.