Abbas to reaffirm power-sharing plan


Mahmoud Abbas will support sharing power with Hamas if Hamas cedes control of the Gaza Strip, a Saudi report said.

Arab News, a Saudi-based English-language daily, reported that the Palestinian Authority president will make the commitment when he meets Tuesday with Saudi King Abdullah.

Abdullah brokered the original Mecca agreement on power sharing between Abbas and Hamas, a terrorist group that won the last P.A. elections, but the agreement fell apart in June when Hamas forced troops loyal to Abbas out of Gaza.

Abbas’ split with Hamas led to Israel and other Western nations reasserting financial and diplomatic support for the Palestinian Authority. Hamas remains isolated because of its terrorist activities.

King Abdullah’s willingness to meet with Abbas is seen as a sign that the Saudis will attend a regional conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace set for November. Israel, the Palestinians and the United States see Saudi participation as critical to the conference’s success.

Hamas is seen as unlikely to cede power in Gaza.

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