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Palestinian President in YLE Interview

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says that he wants to iron out differences between himself and the Government formed by the hard-line Hamas movement. Abbas, who made his comments in an interview with YLE, will visit Finland next week.

In the interview, Abbas, who takes a moderate line toward Israel, said that he is hoping to persuade Hamas to denounce terrorism. Hamas has refused to recognise agreements made between the previous Palestinian government and Israel.

He also predicted that a serious cricis could emerge if cooperation between him and the new Palestinian government does not improve. However, he also noted that in some questions, the two sides have reached some level of agreement.

Abbas also said that the European Union should not punish all Palestinians with the freezing of aid, just because the EU does not like Hamas. The cutoff of foreign aid has prevented the Palestinian Authority from meeting its payroll requirements. President Abbas said that the non-payment of wages of 140,000 people could lead to serious problems.

President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit Finland on Wednesday next week.

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