Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to congratulate him on Israel’s successful withdrawal from Gaza. “The chairman of the Palestinian Authority said he hoped that disengagement would open up a new chapter in relations between the two peoples that must work together to do things for the sake of peace, for the futures of both peoples and the region,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s office. The political ramifications of Abbas’ phone call were to show that the PA, and not Hamas, is calling the shots and to show the American administration that the PA wants to move forward with the road map.
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