Israel has agreed to resume face-to-face talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a member of the moderate Fatah party who is sharing power with Islamic Hamas militants, a U.S. official said Monday. Also Monday, Israel welcomed the idea of a regional peace summit, although no such meeting is set. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been shuttling between Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders, trying to persuade Israel to be more flexible in its dealings with Abbas.
Quebec’s Liberal Party won a mandate in Monday’s provincial election while the separatist Quebecois Party appeared to be stuck in third place, a result that staves off another referendum on separation from Canada.
The leaders of Northern Ireland’s major Protestant and Catholic parties, sitting side by side for the first time in history, announced a deal Monday to forge a coalition within six weeks. “We all saw something today that people never, ever thought would happen,” said British Secretary of State Peter Hain, who expects to hand power May 8 to a coalition led by the polar opposites of provincial politics: Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists and Gerry Adams’ Sinn Fein.
From Herald news services