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Mahmoud Abbas: 'Of whom should I be afraid?'

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Dergham: The Quartet statement the [UN] secretary general told you about includes new ideas, correct?

Abbas: They presented some ideas and views. We said we would listen to them, discuss them, and then give them our feedback.

Dergham: President Sarkozy has proposed a timetable for negotiations. Are you ready to move forward on that?

Abbas: The negotiations are the first matter, before the timeframe. This is important. But the core issue is the substance. If the substance is appropriate, then yes, a timeframe. We would put a timeframe in place and within which we would conclude the negotiations.

Dergham: Hamas has criticized your speech. While the world was applauding you and giving you a standing ovation, positions were taken and statements were issued against you?

Abbas: From the outset, Hamas said that this move is unilateral and one-sided. True, we perhaps did not consult with them. But the matter should not be, “If you do not consult me then I am against you.” At least I understand the essence of their position. But they have taken pride in erroneousness. They continued to reject and started looking for pretexts, saying that the statement contained contradictions and whatnot. The whole world understood the speech, and yet they say it is full of contradictions. This is regrettable.

Dergham: Why is there talk of dissolving the Palestinian Authority?

Abbas: We are not talking about dissolving the Palestinian Authority.

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