Hamas officials assemble in Cairo for Palestinian talks

A top Hamas official said the militant group will abide by past agreements Palestinian leaders made with Israel as it strives to create a ruling coalition after a stunning election victory, but also cautioned that no deal is eternal and Hamas would end any past deals it believes were illogical or unfair.

The comments by Moussa Abu Marzouk, the right-hand man to Hamas' political leader Khaled Mashaal, came as Hamas leaders from Syria and Palestinian areas gathered here Sunday for talks to try to hammer out a power-sharing deal between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah party.

Marzouk said he had met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah's leader, and that Abbas did not insist that Hamas had to recognize Israel or make other concessions before Fatah would negotiate a deal to form the next Palestinian government.

Speaking of past peace deals between the Palestinians and Israel, Marzouk told reporters: "There is no authority that inherits another authority without abiding by the agreements already made. But the other party also should be committed to the agreements."

He said Hamas would review all past deals. "If the agreements contradict logic and rights, there are legal measures to be taken ... there are no eternal agreements," he said.

Israel's acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said Monday he will work with Abbas as long as he does not join forces with Hamas. Olmert also said Israel would continue transferring monthly tax payments to the Palestinian Authority as long as Hamas was not in control, reports the AP.


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