Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday criticized Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, who said last week during his visit to Gaza that the organization will never recognize Israel, and called for its destruction.
Speaking to Turkish reporters in Ankara, Abbas said that he does not agree with Meshal's statements. "We recognized Israel in 1993," he said. "There is an agreement between Fatah and Hamas that recognizes the two-state solution. Meshal approved this agreement."
Later on Thursday morning, Tzipi Livni phoned Abbas to congratulate him on his criticism of Meshal's speech. "It is important that the public hears this sort of message so it does not lose hope in a peace agreement," Livni told the Palestinian leader.
An announcement sent out by Livni said that during the call Abbas told her that in any negotiation over reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, he will require Hamas to accept the principle of a two-state solution, and its achievement through peaceful, non-violent, means.
Since Meshal's visit to Gaza last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have strongly criticized Abbas, claiming that he tacitly agrees with Meshal's comments because he has not condemned them outright.
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