Netanyahu tells Abbas 'to hold talks with Palestinians'

Abbas on Sunday telephoned for the first time since he became Israel's prime minister.

Netanyahu tells Abbas 'to hold talks with Palestinians'
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time since he became Israel's prime minister.

Netanyahu told Abbas, has said he will "hold peace talks with the Palestinians".

Abbas extended holiday greetings for the Jewish Passover festival, a statement from the Israeli prime minister's office said.

Netanyahu, whose right-leaning government took office on March 31, said "he intended to resume" talks and cooperation with the Palestinians for the sake of promoting peace, the statement said.

Israeli officials said it was the first contact between the two leaders since Netanyahu became prime minister for the second time. He last held the post from 1996 to 1999.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday Abbas had made peace talks with Netanyahu's cabinet "conditional on it committing to U.S.-brokered deals reached at a 2007 Annapolis summit, and freezing Jewish settlement expansions"

Erekat's remarks followed dismission of the statehood talks launched at Annapolis last week by far-right Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Assassination of Nasrallah

Yisrael Katz, the Israeli transport minister, who is close to Netanyahu, said on Sunday that Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's Shia Hezbollah movement, should be killed.

"Nasrallah deserves death and I hope that those who know what to do with him will act and give him what he deserves," Katz said.

His remarks came after Cairo announced last week the arrest of 49 people linked with Hezbollah on suspicion of planning attacks in Egypt.

Nasrallah confirmed on Friday that one of those detained is a Hezbollah member, but denied seeking to destabilise Egypt, saying the man was responsible for helping transport arms to Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Nisan 2009, 08:50