Backers line up for Abbas

A joint statement by the United States, Egypt, Jordan and Persian Gulf nations expressed support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The foreign minister-level meeting Tuesday concluded with a statement that “affirmed the necessity of continuing assistance and support to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Abbas and his government. Participants denounced all acts of violence and called for law and order under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.”

The statement was an implicit rebuke of Hamas, the terrorist group that in June ousted forces loyal to Abbas from the Gaza Strip, and signaled the readiness of members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jordan and Egypt to isolate Hamas.

The statement also embraced last month’s initiative by President Bush to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, partly through a fall meeting of regional powers.

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