Israel, US express support for Abbas

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A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel backs Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, and his call for early elections.

Spokeswoman Miri Eisin said the Israeli government supports moderate Palestinians who want to negotiate with Israel without resorting to violence, and Abbas is this type of leader. And, she added, Israel hopes that he will be able to assert his authority over all of the Palestinian people.

The US also welcomed Abbas's call for new elections, expressing the hope that they will quell violence in the territories and pave the way for a unity government that could work toward peace with Israel. A White House spokeswoman said while the elections are an internal matter, the US hopes they will help bring the violence to an end and the formation of a Palestinian Authority committed to the Quartet's principles.

Copyright © 2005 Israel Broadcasting Authority.

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