President Mamoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority expressed interest in positive signals from the Egyptian government regarding the possibility of entering into positive negotiations with Hamas. Egyptian leaders have been holding separate meetings with Hamas and the Fatah party of Abbas in an effort to create a united front in dealing with Israel peace demands. Abbas indicated his party would proceed with elections on the West Bank which would coincide with Gaza elections even though Hamas controls the area.
Abbas was asked if a change in leadership of America would be a positive sign for Middle Eastern peace and he responded: “We hope.” Most probably, Abbas, like other Arab leaders in the Middle East lack any trust in the capability of President Bush to push ahead with peace. Abbas also made clear he is prepared to enter negotiations with Tzip Livni when she assumes the role of prime minister of Israel.