Sharon to open discussion with Abbas

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has decided to re-open diplomatic contact with the leader of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

Sharon had cut all links after a suicide attack killed six Israelis at a Gaza Strip border entry point, just days after Abbas has been elected leader. However, Abbas has made moves to curb the activities of Palestinian militants, leading to a drop in violence in the region.

Palestinian officials say that Palestinian security forces will be deployed in the southern Gaza Strip within 24 hours to reduce attacks on Israel. In addition, Israel has agreed to stop the targeted killing of Palestinian militants, reports say.